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Cincinnati Children's Part Of Bird Flu Vaccine Trial

National Institutes of Health

Cincinnati Children's is part of a national study just getting underway to create an avian flu vaccine.There are no known cases of H7N9 bird flu in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Robert Frenck, MD, medical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's.

"However, it really has the potential to become a pandemic or very large outbreak strain," he says. "The thing that we're afraid of is of the people that have contracted H7N9 to date, almost 40 percent of those have died."

Chinareported a new outbreak of H7N9 bird flu last week, the sixth such epidemic there since 2013.

Cincinnati is one of four agencies participating in this clinical trial. They're testing to see if a particular immune system stimulant called an adjuvant lets them use less antigen in a vaccine.

"The reason to do that is because when you have to make vaccine quickly it takes a long time to get the doses, and if we can spare by using one quarter of the antigen, we can actually vaccinate four times as many people," says Frenck.

The trial just started and could take a year to complete. Frenck expects preliminary results in the fall.

About The Trial

Cincinnati is enrolling 40 adults between ages 19 and 64 as part of the Phase 2 clinical trial. Overall, this study will also include 150 patients with VTEU sites in Birmingham, Ala., Baltimore and Nashville. People interested in enrolling in the Cincinnati arm of the study should call 513-636-7699.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.