Scientists report that a universal flu vaccine in mice protected the animals against eight different flu strains, according to a study published July 21 in the journal mBio.

If the vaccine works in humans, scientists might not have to develop new flu vaccines every year, the researchers said.

Currently, a vaccine is created each year to protect against the handful of flu strains that are predicted to be the most common during that flu season. And the vaccine makeup is determined months in advance so that manufacturers have time to make the millions of doses needed.