While the flu is not exactly a delight for anyone, elderly people are one of the groups at risk to have a particularly nasty time. For older people, influenza can lead to hospitalization, long-term complications, or even death.
BiondVax, however, seems to have some good news for this group of people. BiondVax is the company responsible for developing the vaccine Multimeric-001 – a universal influenza vaccine that has shown some interesting results in clincial trials. Universal vaccines are called such because they are created to fight the majority of existing strains, not just one specific type.
“We are delighted with these Phase II results,” Dr. Ron Babecoff, BiondVax’s CEO, said in a statement. “We have confirmed, in what is to our knowledge, the first Phase II study of a universal flu vaccine in elderly, that the Multimeric-001 vaccine is not only safe and immunogenic on its own but also enhances the performance of traditional strain-dependent flu vaccines in the elderly when given in a prime-boost regimen."
It is important to mention that most vaccines are less effective in elderly people – according to Suzanne Elvidge’s article, “around 60% of elderly people do not have a high enough immune response to the standard vaccine to be protected”. This one is said to be the first Phase 2 study of a universal vaccine on this demographic.
Along with the expected benefits of any vaccine (namely, bringing about at least some sort of immunity towards a specific disease), this vaccine has also demonstrated an ability to increase the effectiveness of other flu vaccines.
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