The University of Iowa will be one of just half-a-dozen institutions to study whether adding a chemical to an existing bird flu virus can make it a better preventive for the dreaded h-five-N-1 strain that’s killed people in Asia. Doctor Patricia Winokur, a professor of internal medicine, will lead the study. She says vaccine production should improve every year.
She says this study should produce information that’ll be helpful even in a routine year, but also will give information that’ll help prepare for a pandemic of this strain of bird flu. Dr Winokur says they’ll need just about a hundred people to take part in the study of the vaccine. They should be in good health, and be age 65 or older.
They’ll be studied for about seven months — and be given two vaccinations, a month apart. Blood tests will determine whether the vaccine’s imparted the immune protection they hope for. If the vaccine can be made more effective doctors won’t have to give patients two separate shots, which will make it easier to handle and stockpile.