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Research improving flu vaccine

Wednesday 01 April 2020

What if you could find a way to improve the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in older and elderly Australians – well researchers at the Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital and the Translational Research Institute are working on doing just that.

Thanks to a co-contributed funding grant, of which the PA Research Foundation contributed $25,000, a study testing the impact of increased fibre on increasing the immune system's ability to respond to the flu vaccine is headed for a Phase II clinical trial.

The trial, led by PA hospital Senior Respiratory Physician Professor John Upham, is set to run for six weeks, with participants taking either a fibre or complex carbohydrate supplement twice daily, a fortnight before receiving a free flu vaccination and then for four weeks following. Nurses will take blood samples at the beginning and end of the trail for testing.

The trial, which is also hopeful of increasing the power of the flu vaccine in people with lung disease, follows a pilot trial run in 2019, which found that older Australians who consumed a fibre supplement daily produced more antibodies following a flu shot.

Researchers are now calling for volunteers to take part in the study which will require three visits to the PA Hospital.

Anyone interested in taking part in the trial is asked to contact study nurse Krystal Rudland on (07) 3176 5394 or email Parking for participants in the trial is reimbursable.