Researchers are seeking about 500 NHS patients to try out a new "universal" vaccine against seasonal flu. The experimental vaccine works differently from the one currently available, which has to be remade each year based on a "best guess" of what type of flu is likely to be about.
The new jab targets part of the virus that does not change each year. This means the vaccine should work against human, bird and swine flu, say the team from the University of Oxford led by Prof Sarah Gilbert, Jenner Investigator.
‘We started the first trial in 2002 and we finished the efficacy trial in 2013.’ Nine years of trials. That was on top of the time taken to develop the thing in the first place. That’s a long time. For Le Mans, the MdS and the Vendee Globe, the finish line is known, fixed; for vaccines, new data may move the finish line at any time. Vaccine development may not be as physically demanding, but to keep plugging away for twenty years surely requires mental resilience.
Development of persistent gastrointestinal S. aureus carriage in mice. Sci Rep, 7 (1), pp. 12415. Article
Intravenous immunoglobulin for the treatment of childhood encephalitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 10 (10), pp. CD011367. Article
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