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Is there a vaccine available for colds and flu?

Q: I am from Chennai. Every summer, there is this cycle of flu/cold that affects almost everyone I know, at office, at home etc. It is a standard procedure where by the end of summer a round of cold will come and go, making life difficult for a week. In foreign countries like Australia, one can get a flu-shot to protect against most common strains of cold, for a year. Why is it, that we don't have such a thing in India? In fact no one even knows such a thing exists. Am I wrong or is there no market for such a product to prevent infection?

A:Flu Vaccine is available in India. However, flu vaccine does not prevent colds. It protects against some specific strains of the influenza virus, and these strains vary from continent to continent. The common cold is a very different disease to influenza. The vaccine may be of limited use in our setting as the viruses may be very different.

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