Northeast Ohio pediatric practice starts trial run for new flu vaccine

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 1:31 PM EST
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SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - A major flu vaccine trial is now underway here in Northeast Ohio.

“It has tremendous potential because if this really works the way we expect it too, we will have a tool next year for the entire county and frankly for the world,” said Dr. Shelly Senders.

After seeing the mRNA vaccine work to protect against Covid, companies like Pfizer are using that same technology to protect against other viral illnesses like the flu.

“What the world has learned is that all of the companies making these vaccines, this technology can be used for all sorts of viruses and influenza is the one that is most important to use at this point because of the challenges of the influenza vaccine,” said Dr. Senders.

Dr. Senders owns Senders Pediatrics and Research. He and his team are one of the groups running the trial.

By the end of November, Dr. Senders said he will have had 100 people participate.

“This is the only trial being conducted through Cleveland. We are the only site that’s doing this at this point. Other sites will be added later,” said Dr. Senders.

The age group who can participate in the study is 18 to 55.

“It’s a very simple study. You get one dose. You have a blood draw that day and a month later we check immunity, we look for safety and there’s a follow up phone call 6 months later,” said Dr. Senders.

So what sets mRNA vaccines apart from others?

Dr. Senders says it’s the ability to tailor the vaccine to protect against the most current circulating strain.

“But often by the time the vaccines are distributed, there’s a new strain going on which is what frustrates health care officials, but more importantly frustrates parents and individuals because they get a vaccine and it doesn’t necessarily protect them because it’s the wrong strain. So using mrna technology, you’re using a megaphone to say to the body make this particular strain. Can be used at the last minute just as we used it for omicron,” said Dr. Senders.

Please call Senders Pediatrics at (216) 291-9210 if you want to apply for the trial.