Prime-Boost H7N9 Influenza Vaccine Concept Promising in Clinical Trial

In clinical trials, several candidate H7N9 pandemic influenza vaccines made from inactivated viruses have been shown to be safe and to generate an immune response. However, scientists believe for practical use, these potential vaccines would require multiple doses or the addition of adjuvants, which enhance the immune response. With hopes of making one dose of an inactivated H7N9 vaccine fully protective, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) successfully tested a prime-boost concept in a small clinical trial. The “primer” pandemic influenza vaccine—made from live but weakened virus—introduces the immune system to H7N9 influenza virus, and subsequent vaccination with the “booster” inactivated virus vaccine recalls a more robust immune response.

H7N9 influenza emerged in spring 2013 in China, primarily affecting people who have close contact with poultry. Through Nov. 13, 2015, the World Health Organization has reported 681 confirmed cases with at least 275 deaths. H7N9 influenza has not been found in the United States.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022