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Flu Study

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Calder et. al. 2010

If you are interested in participating, please read the following set of questions.   

1) You between the ages of 18-65.

2) You are not pregnant. 

3) You are planning to get the Seasonal Flu Vaccine, but have not yet received it this year.  

4) You would self attest that you are healthy.  

If all of the above statements are "true" for you, please send us an email!  Enter "Flu Vaccine" in the subject line.  Thank you for your willingness to participate in this important study.  We will be in touch with you shortly. 


Seasonal vaccination against Influenza virus, the pathogen known to circulate in the population during "flu season" every year, has become common medical practice and is encouraged by both medical providers and employers because it is easily spread by tiny droplets produced from a sneeze, cough or exhalation and can survive on fomites--inanimate objects that are commonly touched and rarely cleaned, like door knobs.  These vaccinations are delivered to recipients through multiple routes including nasal spray and intramuscular injection.  Both methods induce an immune response in the recipient where cells in the body learn how to recognize and destroy a pathogen without causing the vaccine recipient disease thereby protecting the vaccine recipient from infection when they naturally encounter the pathogen.  The goal of our study is to understand the antibodies (produced by immune effector cells) that are present in the saliva of Influenza vaccine recipients--by both nasal spray and intramuscular injection--as this may provide critical insight to the COVID19 vaccine community about the differences in sterilizing immunity induced by the different methods of vaccine delivery.

As Influenza virus is transmitted by a similar mechanism to SARS-CoV-2, through aerosol droplets, we aim to study the neutralizing antibodies present in a person's first line of defense--their saliva.  We aim to understand the differences in neutralizing antibodies present in the saliva that are produced by the different Influenza vaccine delivery mechanisms.  Specifically, we hope to quantify dimeric and monomeric IgA in saliva and evaluate the differences in the j-chain. The presence of secreted IgA in the saliva could provide important insights for the mechanisms by which vaccination should be administered and would be valuable to the COVID19 vaccine development community.   

Several SARS-CoV-2 pre-clinical vaccine-challenge studies in Rhesus macaques including those by Moderna and AstraZeneca, have shown that several weeks post vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 and upon virus challenge, protective immunity exists in the lungs preventing severe COVID19 disease, but that detectable viral titers persist in the nose.  To date, no human vaccine trial evidence has been provided to indicate whether there is a sufficient antibody response in the nose and mouth to provide protective immunity to the host, and/or the population by preventing further spread of the virus.  We aim to help answer this question by evaluating and comparing the immunoglobulins present in those healthy individuals who have received seasonal Influenza vaccinations as the modes of transmission and also protection are similar to that of SARS-CoV-2.  As part of this study, we hope to recruit participants who have received vaccinations via different delivery mechanisms so that we may evaluate which delivery mechanisms may provide the best protective response both to the individual and the population.