Health Care

Experimental universal influenza vaccine candidate, H1ssF_3928, in human trials

Experimental universal influenza vaccine candidate, H1ssF_3928, in human trials”

Four children have died from the flu in MA so far this season, a stark reminder of why it's so important to get vaccinated every year.

"This Phase 1 clinical trial is a step forward in our efforts to develop a durable and broadly protective universal influenza vaccine", he added. The vaccine candidate was developed as part of a broader research agenda to create a so-called "universal" influenza vaccine that can provide long-lasting protection for all age groups from multiple influenza subtypes, including those that might cause a pandemic. Not all flu-related deaths are detected or reported, so the actual number may be higher. According to CDC data, this flu season, while not as severe as last year's overall, is not dropping from its peak as quickly.

One of the influenza strains that are presently infesting the world, especially in the United States, is the influenza A (H3N2).

Fauci explained that there are about 18 influenza A viruses split between two groups, one and two. The HA head constantly changes with a phenomenon called "antigenic drift", so traditional flu vaccines, mostly directed toward the head, must be updated each year.

H1ssF_3928 is created to teach the body to make protective immune responses against diverse influenza subtypes by focusing the immune system on a portion of the virus that varies relatively little from strain to strain.

This first phase of the clinical trial, a human experiment, is being conducted at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The trial will enroll at least 53 adults, ranging from 18 to 70 years. They will have 11 follow-up visits over 12 to 15 months.

The researchers expect enrollment in the clinical trial to be complete by the end of this year and to begin reporting results early next year. The patients will not be exposed to any influenza virus as part of the clinical trial. "In general, Wyoming is pretty low in the percentage of people who get vaccinated". The vaccines are created to prevent or, at least, lessen the impacts of catching the flu.

Flu affects the entire world's population, Schaffner said. "In recent weeks, we're starting to see it go down".

"Increasing the access to vaccines for preventable diseases increases not only the individual's protection, but also helps reduce the spread of the disease within the community - also known as herd immunity". "If we had a substantially improved vaccine, we could do an very bad lot of good", he said.

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