World’s First Trial of New Flu Jab to Include NHS Patients in Oxfordshire, Berkshire

Published Date : Oct 04, 2017

The globe’s first extensive human testing of a flu vaccine has commenced in the National Health Service (NHS) with a hope to protect more number of people aging above 65 years. An over 10,000 people aged 65 and beyond, residing in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, have been asked to participate in a study delivered by the Oxford University and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This trial has been expected to be a major breakthrough in the combat against flu. Researchers have been of the opinion that the vaccine could bring in a significant impact on the global fight against the virus, which troubles nearly a billion people worldwide, every year.

Patients to be Kept Uninformed about Receiving New Vaccine or Placebo

The existing vaccines have been observed to be effective in people over 65 years of age, but only for 30-40% of them. This is because the immune system weakens after a certain age. However, researchers believe that the new vaccine could increase that percentage range. Vaccinology professor at the Oxford University, Sarah Gilbert has urged people invited for vaccine participation to consider taking part. Gilbert has said that the university wants to improve the situation where older adults suffer from rare death and serious illnesses every year due to flu. However, it needs volunteers to test a new vaccine.

The trial has been scheduled to be conducted in winter with participants registered at six GP practices. 25 of the 10,000 participants will be selected for additional blood tests at the university. Along with the new vaccine, which has achieved success after performing safety testing in 145 people, the participants will receive regular, annual immunization.