Today’s flu vaccines are updated each year to prevent infection with the specific strains of the flu that scientists and health officials expect to be common that year. It takes several months to make the vaccines and their effectiveness depends on how well they match the strains of the flu virus that are circulating.
Recent advances in mRNA-based vaccines like the COVID-19 vaccine have taught us more about how mRNA technology can be used to develop vaccines. This research will focus on an investigational vaccine that contains a specific type of mRNA called self-amplifying RNA or saRNA. Like other mRNA vaccines, saRNA vaccines take less time to make. This means it could be easier to produce vaccines each season that are better matched to the most common flu strains. In addition to this, saRNA vaccines may be able to be given at a lower dose than other mRNA vaccines.
The creation of the COVID-19 vaccine made history. Could you help us try to do it again with flu?
The saRNA Flu Vaccine Study will help us learn if an investigational vaccine is safe and can help the body produce antibodies which may help fight off the flu. The investigational vaccine is thought to work by activating your immune system using saRNA. There is no weakened or dead flu virus in the investigational vaccine.
Your participation in this research study will not only help advance a potential new type of flu vaccine, but will support investigational vaccine development for other infectious diseases. So, thank you for taking the time to learn more.
This study is currently enrolling people who:
- Are 18 to 49 years old
- Are generally healthy or have stable chronic conditions
- Have not received a flu vaccine in the last six months
- Have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the last two months and are not planning to receive a COVID-19 vaccine within the first two months of study participation
While everyone needs to be represented in vaccine clinical studies, it is especially important that these vaccine studies include people from the communities most significantly impacted by the flu. By choosing to volunteer, you will represent people like you—in age, sex, race, and ethnicity and from communities like yours. Involving people from all backgrounds will improve the development of this investigational vaccine for everyone. By volunteering for a flu vaccine study, you can make a difference.
About saRNA vaccines
The immune system is the body’s natural defense against infections. Vaccines help the immune system recognize viruses and bacteria that may invade the body in the future.
Some vaccines contain a small amount of the virus or bacteria from the disease they are designed to help prevent. The virus or bacteria has either been killed or weakened so it cannot make a person sick. Other vaccines contain only a part of the germ from the disease.
The investigational vaccine being studied is an saRNA vaccine, a type of mRNA vaccine. mRNA vaccines do not contain any killed or weakened virus. mRNA vaccines work by telling your body to produce proteins that look just like certain parts of the virus. The immune system reacts to these proteins in a similar way to a real virus. As a result, certain immune system cells “remember” how to recognize these proteins quickly and fight the real infection if it happens in the future.