Collaborative study to improve flu and Covid-19 vaccine design

Older adult receiving vaccine

With funding from MRC/UKRI, the University of Oxford has assembled a team of scientists, radiologists and clinicians to research and understand the cause and effect of varying responses to vaccination.

The results will assist researchers in designing vaccines which will offer greater protection to the most vulnerable.

As part of the LEGACY03 trial, the team are testing the responses of cells in lymph nodes before and after immunisation with flu and Covid-19 vaccines.

The aim is to compare the response to these vaccines in older and younger adults. The study focuses on volunteers aged between 18 and 45 years or 65 years or over at the time of screening.

Cushla Cooper, Clinical Operations Lead for Oxford University’s Experimental Medicine Clinical Research Facility (EMCRF) said: “EMCRF is working alongside radiologists from Oxford University Hospitals and the study team from the Oxford Vaccine Group, to conduct these trials and deliver results. This is another great example of collaboration between Oxford University and the NHS Trust aimed at bringing new solutions to enhance patient outcomes and we’re pleased to be a part of it.”

Participants in the study receive two vaccines: an mRNA Covid-19 booster vaccine and a seasonal flu jab, and are enrolled for three months.

Dr Katrina Pollock MRC Clinician Scientist in Vaccinology at the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Principal Investigator in the LEGACY03 study, said: “We have had over 700 people volunteer to be part of the study which is a phenomenal response to our appeal. The collaborative efforts of academia, clinicians and public volunteers, in tandem with MRC and UKRI funding to support this vital study, mean we can generate meaningful results that will benefit public health globally.”

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