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Blumenthal to call for $1B for flu vaccine development


EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for a $1 billion federal government investment for the development of a universal flu vaccine.

The Connecticut Democrat is set to announce his proposal Saturday at a flu shot clinic in East Hartford.Related Content: Flu now blamed for 84 child deaths this season, CDC says

A universal vaccine would provide protection against multiple types of the flu, rather than a select few that a typical seasonal vaccine guards against. Federal officials estimate this year’s vaccine is only 36 percent effective in preventing severe flu illness.

Nationally, 84 children have died so far this flu season. Just under 10 percent of U.S. death certificates listed flu or pneumonia for the week ending Jan. 27.Related Content: Flu season shows signs of leveling off

Blumenthal is co-sponsoring legislation that would provide $1 billion over five years to the National Institutes of Health for development of a universal vaccine.

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