Combined COVID-19 and flu vaccine trials


THE University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) is seeking volunteers to take part in clinical trials for an Australian-first study to assess a combined COVID-19 and influenza vaccine. The trials will take place at USC Clinical Trials clinics in Brisbane, Moreton Bay and on the Sunshine Coast.

For the trials, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine will be combined with an influenza vaccine candidate, NanoFlu, to provide a two-in-one immunisation. Some trial recipients will receive both vaccine candidates separately and some will receive the combined vaccine. The level of immune response of participants will then be assessed.

USC Clinical Trials is seeking healthy volunteers aged 50-70 years to take part in the research.

The study will require participants to attend one of the three clinics up to eight times over six months. Eligible participants will be paid for their time.

Dr Nischal Sahai, who will oversee the study at USC Clinical Trials South Bank, said the combined protein-based influenza and COVID-19 vaccine candidate was expected to have some important advantages over existing vaccines.

“We are initially targeting older adults for this study because this population bears a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality for both influenza and COVID-19,” Dr Sahai said.

USC Clinical Trials director Lucas Litewka said this was the first time in Australia that a COVID-19 vaccine had been combined with an influenza vaccine to present a single jab approach.

Those interested in applying can find more information at www.usc.edu.au/covid

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