Wilmington participating in mRNA flu vaccine trials

mRNA flu vaccination trials are taking place in Wilmington (Photo: Daniel Paquet / CC BY 2.0 )

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We’re beginning to get into flu season, and Wilmington is set to take part in an mRNA flu vaccine clinical trial.

Following the success of the use of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines to combat COVID-19, companies are using the technology to combat other viruses, including influenza. These are the first major Phase III trials using mRNA vaccines since the COVID trials.

Dr. Bart Williams and Dr. Will Jones of Wrightsville Family Practice in Wilmington, NC, and Drs. Donald Eagerton and Chad Huberty of Carolina Health Specialists in Myrtle Beach, SC, are leading the trials.

“The use of mRNA to combat influenza is the next logical progression of this vaccine technology,” Dr. Williams said. “Bringing these studies to Wilmington and Myrtle Beach is a tremendous benefit to our patients.”

There is potential that an mRNA flu vaccine could potentially work better than traditional flu vaccines, according to Dr. Evan W. Lucas, Site Pharmacist for TMA.

“Due to the fact that it works differently in how it ‘informs’ the immune system about influenza,” Lucas said. “We believe by working in a different method, there may be a longer effect of the flu shot or coverage of additional strains of flu compared with a traditional shot.”

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