Duke Vaccine Institute Assists National Effort to Improve Flu Shots

Duke Vaccine Institute has received three research contracts
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As part of a massive national effort to improve and modernize flu shots, the Duke Vaccine Institute has received three research contracts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, with an initial award of approximately $29.6 million in first-year funding.

If the options on all three contracts are exercised, total funding could be up to $400 million over seven years, which would be the largest federal multi-contract award supporting one program in Duke’s history. The contracts are part of an ambitious initiative under NIAID aimed at developing a longer-lasting, more broadly protective vaccine to replace the seasonal flu shot.  

Current flu vaccines do not protect against all varieties of the virus and require new formulations each year, which are based on predictions of what is likely to be circulating during flu season. A more universally protective vaccine could cut the toll of influenza, which kills 300,000 to 500,000 people worldwide each year and causes up to 5 million cases of severe infection that often result in costly hospitalizations.

Successful vaccine candidates may eventually be advanced to larger clinical trials and human challenge studies in healthy adults and people at high risk of the most serious complications of flu, including children, pregnant women and older adults.

 

Source: Duke News Service

 

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