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Brit scientists create world's first anti-flu pill 'which could save millions for cash-strapped NHS'

Mirror logo Mirror 14/03/2018 Martin Bagot

The medication would be the world’s first flu vaccine in pill form (file image) (Image: Getty) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc The medication would be the world’s first flu vaccine in pill form (file image) (Image: Getty) Scientists in Britain have created the world’s first flu vaccine in pill form.

The breakthrough could save the NHS millions as it is the first synthetic vaccine, so it does not have to be kept in the fridge.

Researchers also hope it would boost uptake for people with limited access to a GP or nurse.

Study leader Prof Andrew Sewell, of the School of Medicine at Cardiff University, said oral vaccines were “great news for people with a fear of needles”.

a person lying on a bed: Credits: iStockphoto © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: iStockphoto He added: “They can also be much easier to store and transport, making them far more suitable for use in remote locations.”

Vaccines usually introduce a harmless form of a germ into our bodies.

These stimulate immune cells, which remember the germ – often proteins – and launch a stronger attack if it returns.

a person sitting on a bed © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Researchers created a “mirror image” of such proteins, trigger­ing the same immune resp­onse.

Oral vaccines are rare as they are usually digested, so prot­ection is lost.

Refrigerating biological vaccines accounts for most of the cost of transporting them.

The next step for the study, in Journal of Clinical Investigation, is to test the vaccine on humans.

Dr Gino Martini, of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “A pill-based vaccine can only have a positive impact on the number of patients receiving the vaccine.”

In Europe, less than a third of older people had flu jabs this year.

Related: 7 Cold and Flu Myths Busted (provided by Best Life)

person sitting on a couch: Having a cold is no fun. Getting the flu, perhaps even less so. Both of these viruses tend to proliferate at this time of year, making a walk through your office feel as safe as a stroll through the sewers of Venice at the bubonic plague's peak. There’s still no cure for either malady, but there is constantly advancing science about how both can be avoided and their symptoms lessened. Yet old inaccuracies are hard to shake, and they could be getting and keeping you sick. Below, we bust the myths. And for more on winter colds, learn Why the Flu May Hit Men Harder Than Women. 7 Cold and Flu Myths Busted

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