NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Researchers at Vanderbilt are hopeful that a new study will identify a nasal vaccine that is more effective in fighting the flu.

Influenza vaccines remain an essential part of child and adult health. With children returning to schools, and flu season right around the corner, researchers with the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program are wishful that a new method of administering the flu vaccine will be more productive than the traditional shot.

Researchers say the current flu shot is effective, but as vaccines continue to improve, it can be administered in ways other than the typical injection. The study calls for children to receive either one or two doses of a nasal spray vaccine, plus the normal seasonal influenza vaccine.

As part of the study, three blood samples will be spread out over the year. Researchers say typical side effects of the nasal spray include sneezing, discomfort in the nose and a possible low-grade fever.

Dr. Buddy Creech, Director of Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, says the study aims to prove that the nasal vaccine is safe for children.

“We know this vaccine is safe and develops an immune response in adults, and now we’re just moving onto younger and younger children as we show that it’s safe,” said Dr. Beech, “The Holy Grail of influenza research is to be able to give one vaccine, maybe not every year, that covers all of the strains of influenza. That’s what we’re targeting.” 

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For the nasal influenza vaccine study, pediatricians are looking for healthy infants and children from 6 months to 8 years old to participate. According to the research program, participants will be compensated up to $570 for their time and travel.

If you are interested in enrolling in the vaccine study click here.