The Oxford Experimental Medicine Clinical Research Facility (EMCRF) at Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) has received its first volunteers as part of the LEGACY03 trial to improve vaccine design for different age groups.
Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases (NHS, 2023) however, people respond to them in different ways. The elderly and those over 65 particularly tend to respond less well as the immune system matures.
To address the risks this individual response poses to global health, we need to understand how age affects vaccine efficacy. At the University of Oxford, we have a unique culture of collaboration and specialist expertise which means we are well-positioned to investigate these issues. With funding from MRC/UKRI we brought together scientists, radiologists and clinicians to research and understand the cause and effect of varying responses to vaccination.
As part of the recently launched LEGACY03 trial, we’re testing the responses of cells in lymph nodes – small bean-shaped organs found all over the body that respond to infection – before and after immunisation with flu and COVID-19 vaccines. The aim is to compare the response to these vaccines in older and younger adults.