Flu shots contain the flu strain that researchers anticipate to be the one going around. When they’re right, vaccines work well, provided that enough people get them well before they contract the virus. If researchers are wrong, the vaccines could lead to viral resistance, maybe even resulting in a more virulent strain that could have devastating effects on the population.
Since Vasculotide just treats the flu’s most life-threatening symptom, it doesn’t increase viral resistance. Plus, Vasculotide works, at least in initial studies done in mice. Vasculotide is inexpensive to produce and is chemically stable, the researchers note. But a big part of the drug’s draw, as Michael Byrne notes in a piece for Motherboard, is that it doesn’t affect or “boost” the immune system. It merely buys the body some time to rid itself of the flu. And that could make all the difference.