Originally published May 18, 2023 2:00 pm PDT.
Updated to include comment from Dr. Richard Bartlett.
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC) have begun a clinical trial for an “experimental” universal influenza vaccine, according to a press release.
The trial has started enrolling volunteers at Duke University in North Carolina.
The vaccine, known as H1ssF-3928 mRNA-LNP, will reportedly be tested for safety and its potential to stimulate an immune response in this Phase 1 trial.
Up to 50 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 49 will participate in the trial, according to the release.
They will be divided into three groups, with each group receiving different dosages of the vaccine.
After evaluation of the data to determine an optimum dosage, an additional 10 participants will be enrolled to receive this dosage.
A group of participants will receive the current quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine to allow direct comparison of the candidate vaccine’s immunogenicity and safety.
Participants will be evaluated regularly to assess the vaccine’s safety and, secondarily, its efficacy.
They will receive follow-up appointments for up to a year after vaccination.
Acting NIAID Director Hugh Auchincloss, said, “A universal influenza vaccine would be a major public health achievement and could eliminate the need for both annual development of seasonal influenza vaccines, as well as the need for patients to get a flu shot each year.”
Auchincloss believes that a universal flu vaccine “could serve as an important line of defense against the spread of a future flu pandemic.”
The trial is being conducted through the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs) program, which was created by NIAID in 2019 to support the development of broadly protective and longer-lasting flu vaccines.
The H1ssF-3928 mRNA-LNP vaccine is the first universal flu vaccine candidate to be tested by the CIVICs program, the release notes.
However, a recent U.K. community-based population study found that those who have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, demonstrate a lower rate of new Omicron BA.4/BA.5 infections compared to those who were vaccinated.
The research showed that “the duration of protection after breakthrough infection was longer than after the third/booster vaccination.”
In terms of the overall duration of protection, the study found that “protection was short-lived following three vaccinations in individuals without previous infection.”
The study authors emphasized that “breakthrough infection leads to longer-lasting immunity and thus offers more durable protection against future infections, both from the same and different variants.”
Questions are raised about whether natural immunity acquired by infection with influenza will provide better protection than these universal vaccines.
In a statement to American Faith, Dr. Richard Bartlett, a long-time physician and previous advisor to Texas Governor Rick Perry, critically assessed the use of mRNA vaccines for combating respiratory viruses.
Bartlett questioned the credibility of former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, Anthony Fauci, and his successor, Hugh Auchincloss, for endorsing such vaccines, pointing to the health concerns and deaths reportedly associated with their use.
Expressing skepticism towards mRNA vaccines, Bartlett said, “Déjà vu! The previous director of NIAID announced to the world that the largest human experiment in history – the mRNA vaccine for a rapidly mutating respiratory virus, COVID – was both safe and effective. Indeed, Fauci claimed that after receiving the COVID mRNA jab, one could confidently avoid contracting COVID. However, after reportedly getting multiple shots, Fauci himself contracted COVID, not once but twice! Clearly, Fauci’s assertions have been proven incorrect time and again, even two years later.”
He further scrutinized the decision of the new NIAID Director, Hugh Auchincloss, to endorse a similar vaccine for the flu.
The veteran physician alluded to the negative implications of mRNA vaccines reported on the CDC’s VAERS website, including over 34,000 deaths and more than a million injuries within a span of two years.
“Enter the replacement, the new NIAID Director, Hugh Auchincloss. He is following in Fauci’s footsteps, endorsing an mRNA vaccine for another rapidly mutating respiratory virus, the flu. One might wonder, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ According to the CDC’s VAERS website, over 34,000 deaths and more than a million injuries related to mRNA vaccines have been reported within just two years,” Bartlett stated.
Referring to a study from the University of Basel, he highlighted that 2.8% of COVID mRNA vaccine recipients experienced substantial heart cell damage, evidenced by increased levels of troponin, a critical indicator for heart attacks and heart cell death.
Bartlett also raised concerns over the UK’s compensation system for mRNA vaccine-related deaths or disabilities, questioning its implications for the safety of these vaccines.
“The UK has been compensating up to $120,000 per case for mRNA vaccine-related death or disability since last year. Doesn’t this imply some level of risk?”
Bartlett queried, urging for a careful reassessment of our experiences and lessons learned from these vaccines.