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Tulane studying why flu vaccine not effective for some

November 4, 2015

Carolyn Scofield
Phone: 504-247-1443
cscofiel@tulane.edu

Millions of people get flu vaccinations every year, but the shot or nasal spray doesn’t work well for everyone. Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine plan to study some local residents to determine how one pre-existing condition, inflammation, can affect the way the vaccine works.

Advancing age, diabetes and chronic viral infection can all lead to chronic inflammation. Those populations are also at higher risk of developing complications from the flu.

Researchers are looking for local residents willing to be a part of the study. To be eligible, residents must be over 65 or be an adult of any age with diabetes. They also must not have received a flu shot yet this year. Participants will receive a free flu shot and donate blood, saliva and urine samples during two visits at Tulane's Clinical Translational Unit.

Understanding the relationship between inflammation and vaccination could lead to vaccines that are more effective. Tulane immunologist Elizabeth Norton says a study like this is unique in New Orleans.

“Most studies on the flu vaccine have not been performed in our community,” she says. “I'm really excited that with this study we'll be able to examine how people in our city are responding to vaccination.”

For more information, call Tulane University's Clinical Translational Unit at 504-988-0200. Walk-in appointments are also available Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1440 Canal Street, Suite 1700.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu