UniSC helping to determine next flu vaccine for Southern Hemisphere

University of the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast residents have an opportunity to participate in a study that will inform the research and development for next year’s flu vaccines, based on this year’s flu strains and the effectiveness of the current vaccines.

University of the Sunshine Coast Clinical Trials is calling for healthy volunteers to participate in this important flu surveillance study in collaboration with pharmaceutical company CSL Seqirus and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Principal investigator Dr Stephanie Wallace said that, as influenza viruses constantly evolve, vaccine compositions must be adjusted annually to protect against currently circulating strains.

“Influenza infection can pose a significant risk to vulnerable people such as young children, the elderly, and those with other medical conditions,” Dr Wallace said.

It is recommended that all Australians have an annual influenza vaccination to protect themselves and reduce spread in the community.

“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,” Dr Wallace said.

The trial team will collect blood samples to monitor the effectiveness of current influenza vaccines and aid in the development of future vaccines, as part of the annual program. UniSC Clinical Trials has been involved for three years.

“We will provide blood samples to the Collaborating Centre for Influenza Reference and Research in Melbourne to inform their recommendation to the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee,” Dr Wallace said.

Participants will be required to attend UniSC’s Clinical Trials clinic at Sippy Downs to provide two blood samples, one before and one after receiving an influenza vaccine, spaced approximately three weeks apart.

Participants need to be 18 or older, in generally good health, and planning to receive the 2024 influenza vaccine.

Those interested in participating can find more information at www.usc.edu.au/trials

/University Public Release. View in full here.