University of Iowa researchers will start their study of a new H1N1 vaccine from Australia next Wednesday, August 12.
U-of-I researcher Patricia Winokur says 140 people will participate in the study. "This vaccine is a killed vaccine, so people cannot get the flu from this vaccine and what we’re studying with this vaccine are the antibody titers, so we’re looking at blood work to help us decide whether this vaccine is effective," she says.
The 140 adults selected for the study are all considered "healthy" and they have had no symptoms of H1N1. Winokur says they’re trying to determine the proper dosage for this new or "novel" strain of the flu.
"Sometimes when we’ve had novel strains, the standard dose of vaccine hasn’t been high enough, so we’re going to be looking at the doses that protect people," she says. "And in the past we know that if people have never seen this particular strain, sometimes you need two shots instead of just one shot so we’ll be looking at that question as well."
The University of Iowa is one of eight institutions around the country tapped to test the new vaccine. Study volunteers will be inoculated, then asked to keep a diary about how they feel. After eight days their blood will be checked. After 21 days, they’ll receive another dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the volunteers will be monitored for two months, then they’ll be asked to come back in for checkups four months and then six months later.