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University of Iowa News Release

April 11, 2005

UI Hospitals And Clinics To Study Flu Vaccine

Researchers at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are enrolling older adults in a study of a new high dose immunization against influenza.

Patricia Winokur, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and an infectious diseases specialist at UI Hospitals and Clinics, will serve as the site principal investigator for the flu vaccine trial. The study is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and will include four other study sites. The research teams will compare the reactions of participants and immune system responses of either a single dose of a standard flu vaccine or an investigational higher dose of the vaccine.

Inactivated influenza virus vaccines have been available in the United States for over 50 years. Though the vaccine is recommended for preventing illness in the elderly, this vaccine has reduced efficacy in this population. The current vaccine reduces the rates of hospitalization and death, but it often does not reduce the rate of acquiring influenza in the elderly. Therefore, there is a need to increase protection against influenza in the older population. Preliminary studies suggest that a higher dose influenza vaccine may help protect elderly individuals from acquiring influenza. The current study will improve understanding of whether a higher dose influenza vaccine may be more likely to protect those over age 65 from influenza infection. 

The study involves individuals age 65 years or older who are in generally good health. Participants will receive either a Food and Drug Administration-approved flu vaccine or the investigational vaccine. Study participants will make three study visits during a six-month period.  Individuals who complete the entire six-month study will be eligible to receive an approved flu vaccine in the fall of 2005 through the early months of 2006 as part of the study.

Individuals who are allergic to eggs or have had severe reactions to a flu vaccine should not participate. 

For more information, please call 319-384-7245 or 319-384-9569 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Compensation is available.

UI Hospitals and Clinics is the state's only comprehensive academic medical center. University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moorez@uiowa.edu; Writer: Nancy Wagner