Sen. Markey calls for creation of universal flu vaccine

BOSTON (WHDH) — Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has proposed the creation of a universal flu vaccine after what has been called the worst flu outbreak in almost a decade.

Markey said he plans to introduce a bill next week that will call for $1 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health to develop the vaccine. He believes he can get bipartisan support.

“We must enhance our ability to predict the right strain or the neext season, produce a more optimal vaccine and protect all Americans from all strains of this virus,” said Markey.

The senator made the announcement at Massachusetts General Hospital. Doctors at MGH said they have seen 11 deaths and 150 people hospitalized from the flu. At least 90 workers have come down with documented cases of the flu.

“We’re only part way there yet and it may exceed the pandemic that we saw back in 2009,” said Dr. David Hooper, the chief of infection control at MGH.

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