4 May 2023
As influenza infections in Australia return to pre-pandemic levels, the University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials Centre seeking people to help with the development of the next generation of vaccines.
UniSC Clinical Trials researchers are calling for healthy volunteers to take part in a joint blood-sample study with pharmaceutical company Seqirus and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help determine the next influenza vaccine for the Southern Hemisphere in 2023.
As influenza viruses constantly evolve, vaccine compositions must be adjusted annually to protect against currently circulating strains.
Principal Investigator on the trial, Dr Stephanie Wallace said influenza virus infections in Australia had returned to pre-pandemic rates.
“All Australians are recommended to have an annual influenza vaccination to protect themselves and reduce spread in the community,” Dr Wallace said.
“This study presents an opportunity for the Sunshine Coast community to contribute to the monitoring and development of effective influenza vaccines for the entire Southern Hemisphere,” she said.
“Influenza infection can pose a significant risk to vulnerable people such as young children, the elderly, and those with other medical conditions.”
The research team will collect blood samples to monitor the effectiveness of current influenza vaccines and aid in the development of future vaccines, as part of an annual program.
The study will take place at UniSC’s Clinical Trials clinic at Sippy Downs, and provide WHO’s Collaborating Centre for Influenza Reference and Research in Melbourne with blood samples to assist with providing a recommendation to the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee.
Participants will be at least 18 years of age, in generally good health, and plan to receive the 2023 influenza vaccine.
Eligible participants will be asked to provide two blood samples – one before and one after receiving an influenza vaccine – spaced approximately three weeks apart. The study will enrol 180 participants at two sites, including UniSC Clinical Trials.
Those interested in participating can find more information at www.usc.edu.au/trials
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