A pioneering study into human immunity is being launched today by Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford. The study, called LEGACY03, is being funded by the Medical Research Council part of UK Research and Innovation. By investigating how lymph nodes work, and how they make responses to vaccines in younger and older people, it has the potential to improve vaccine design for different age groups significantly.
The study is looking to enrol volunteers aged either between 18 to 45 years OR 65 years and over at the time of screening, and will be based at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, based at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. Participants will enrol for 3 months and the results will assist researchers to design vaccines that offer greater protection to those most vulnerable to diseases like flu and COVID-19, particularly older people. It will also enable scientists to design vaccines better suited for different age groups throughout life.
As we age, our immune system changes and with it our response to vaccines. Our risk of complications from infections like flu and COVID-19 also increases and it is therefore important to understand these changes so that vaccinations can be better tailored for maximum efficacy to protect the most vulnerable.