Influenza vaccine

Influenza vaccine

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This image is part of the feature Influenza Research

Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Influenza vaccine. Doctor taking a box containing pre-filled syringes of the influenza (flu) vaccine Enzira out of a fridge. The vaccine contains inactivated virions, or particles, of three strains of the flu virus. The strains are those thought most likely to cause outbreaks in 2005 and 2006, and are chosen by the World Health Organisation and the European Union. Vaccines provide protection against disease by priming the body's immune system, without causing infection. White blood cells are produced that can fight any future infection with the same or similar strains of flu virus. Due to the virus' ability to produce new strains, a new vaccine is needed each year. Enzira is produced by Chiron Vaccines.

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