Oxford leads search for longer lasting flu vaccine
Researchers at Oxford University are leading the search for better flu vaccines.
Thousands of people in Oxfordshire have already had the jab to protect them against this year’s strain of flu – but they will need to do it again next year to stay protected.
A team of experts in Oxford is busy staying one step ahead of flu, looking at how to improve the vaccine and give it longer lasting protection.
You can find out more about their work at a free talk at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, on Thursday 27 November (6.30pm).
Prof Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology based at the Jenner Institute at the Churchill Hospital, will explain how they develop and test new vaccines to keep up with the ever-changing nature of the flu virus.
Prof Gilbert said: “We need to work out how to make more effective vaccines that are less affected by small changes in the circulating virus, and can also provide protection for everyone in the event of a new pandemic.
“If we can induce immune responses to parts of the virus that rarely change, we will be able to make vaccines that are more protective and may also induce longer lasting immunity.
“We are testing vaccines that stimulate a different kind of immunity from the existing licensed vaccines, either on their own or together with other vaccines.”
People are being invited to take part in these trials.
Prof Gilbert explained: “We need to test new vaccines in the age groups that most need better vaccines – so if we need improved influenza vaccines for older people, we need older people to volunteer to take part in trials.
The talk is organised by the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).