BRUNSWICK – Maine Sen. Angus King says he’s joining a group of Senate colleagues to call on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to provide an update on research into a universal flu vaccine.

King, an independent, says the initiative is about reducing “the relentless burden the flu places on American families each year.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released a strategic plan for a universal flu vaccine last year.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website says formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed annually and updated to keep up with changing viruses. As a result, effectiveness can vary year to year.

The senators say the institute should describe for them how it has used funding provided by Congress to develop a universal vaccine.

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