New mRNA flu vaccine trail is underway in Rapid City

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 7:42 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The trial for an mRNA flu vaccine that was announced on Sept. 7, just started at the American Indian Trials Clinical Research Network in Rapid City.

The goal of the new flu shot is to replicate the process the COVID vaccine uses in order to fight the virus. But in this case, it is for the influenza virus.

Gabriel Barrow, the trial’s first participant, says the possibility of future advancements in the field of vaccines is what made him feel obligated to try the vaccine.

“I found it exciting to be a part of something that could change the course of human history,” said Barrow. “I feel that it’s our duty if you got kids and grandkids, you almost have to.”

Barrow added that getting a jump on a potentially proactive therapy, as opposed to something that is reactive, is another reason to do it.

The clinic is testing the mRNA technique to come up with a flu shot with fewer side effects.

According to Founder and CEO of AITCRN Jeffery Henderson, the difference between the shot on the market and the one in the trial is the use of the mRNA genetic code taken from the virus, rather than taking a portion of the virus.

“It’s that tiny little piece of genetic code that constitutes the vaccine and when it’s introduced into our bodies it’s taken up into our cells and it produces that virus antigen,” said Henderson.

He added that the process is something that can hopefully be applied to different illnesses in the future.

Applications are still open for anyone who is interested to participate in the trial.

For more information, you can call (605)939-3686 or you can visit the clinic at 717 Meade St. Suite 100, Rapid City.