Although antiviral drugs and vaccines have reduced the economic and healthcare burdens of influenza, influenza epidemics continue to take a toll. Over the past decade, research on influenza viruses has revealed a potential path to improvement. The clues have come from accumulated discoveries from basic and clinical studies. Now, virus surveillance allows researchers to monitor influenza virus epidemic trends and to accumulate virus sequences in public databases, which leads to better selection of candidate viruses for vaccines and early detection of drug-resistant viruses. Here we provide an overview of current vaccine options and describe efforts directed toward the development of next-generation vaccines. Finally, we propose a plan for the development of an optimal influenza vaccine.



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