HOUSTON (KIAH) – A new trial is underway to test if the mRNA technology used to create and develop quickly the coronavirus vaccine can also be used to create a more targeted flu vaccine.
During the current 2022-23 flu season, Texas has reported 940 deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza. Across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there have been at least 2,900 Americans’ lives lost.
To prevent further death and reduce hospitalizations, medical experts are urging everyone 6 months and older to get their flu shot.
Now, researchers are using mRNA to tweak flu vaccines, just like what was done for the omicron booster.
Typically, the vaccine is determined by what is circulating in the southern hemisphere. But in this trial, researchers say they may be able to tweak the vaccine based on what is surfacing in the United States.
“We can give people flu shots in September, and if we see that something changes, that there is a variant that is affecting us, then we can make a new one in November and give people a booster,” said Dr. Shelly Senders, Founder and CEO of Senders Pediatrics.