A universal flu vaccine trail based on mRNA technology begins to enroll volunteers


Researchers have begun enrolling volunteers in an early-stage clinical trial of a universal flu vaccine based on mRNA technology.

The National Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center has begun enrolling volunteers at Duke University for its mRNA-based vaccine trial, which uses the same technology as the COVID-19 vaccines. The study will enroll 50 “healthy volunteers” ages 18 to 49 in the trial and receive check-ups up to one year.

The experiment divides 30 of the participants into three groups of 10 people. Each group is injected with a different dose – 10, 25 or 50 micrograms – of the experimental vaccine. After researchers reviewed the data to determine the “best dose”, 10 more participants will receive the vaccine, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The trial will also have a group of participants receiving a commercially available seasonal flu vaccine to compare the two vaccines.

According to an NIH press release, scientists predict which types of flu are most common in the country each year to determine which types of flu should be included in the vaccine. A universal flu vaccine covers all strains of the influenza virus, unlike seasonal flu vaccines currently on the market.

“Universal influenza vaccination is a major public health achievement, eliminating both the need for annual seasonal influenza vaccinations and the need for patients to receive the annual flu vaccine,” Hugh O’Chincloss, acting director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement.

“In addition, some strains of the influenza virus have a high epidemic potential,” he added. “Universal flu vaccination can serve as an important line of defense against future flu outbreaks.”

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