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The world’s first NHS trial for a universal flu vaccine has recruited its first round of participants, with over 862 people signing up to take part since the trial launched in October 2017.

Flu vaccine study recruits first participants.jpg

Led by Oxford University, the trial investigates whether giving the new vaccine at the same time as the existing vaccine offers stronger protection against flu in over 65-year olds. Current vaccines are only effective in 30–40% of over 65s, as the immune system weakens with age. Researchers believe the vaccine could have a major impact on the worldwide fight against the virus, which affects about a billion people worldwide a year with 250,000 to 500,000 annual deaths.

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute with Vaccitech, a spin-out company from the institute now continuing clinical development.

Find out more (Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences website)