Poughkeepsie… County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today he is asking the County Legislature to support Dutchess County’s participation in a clinical research trial by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceuticals to study the effectiveness of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approved Fluarix vaccine in the United States.
“With the events of this past flu season and the limited availability nationally of existing flu vaccines, I was proud to see the level of our staff’s commitment to ensure those residents of Dutchess County who wanted a flu vaccination could in fact receive one,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We are fortunate this year to be one of ten sites selected nationally to participate in the Fluarix influenza vaccine trial. We will be sending our Commissioner of Health, Dr. Michael Caldwell, and our County Health Department’s Director of Clinical Services and Research, Linda Squires, to the GlaxoSmithKline investigators meeting next week in Philadelphia.”
The study plans to test the safety and the immune response in adults aged 18 years and older as a result of the Fluarix vaccine when compared with another influenza vaccine currently available in the United States. Fluarix is an inactivated influenza split vaccine, which is available in 79 countries and has recently been approved for the U.S. by the FDA. Since 1992, more than 150 million doses have been distributed and have proved to be highly effective.
“Vaccination is currently the most effective means of controlling influenza and preventing deaths and health complications in those at risk,” said Dutchess County Commissioner of Health, Dr. Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH. “This is a great opportunity to show once again the foresight and commitment we have for our resident’s health.”
The Dutchess County Health Department has been active in vaccine clinical research since 1995. Over a thousand volunteers have participated in various research studies testing vaccines against Lyme disease, Hepatitis, HIV, Herpes and cervical cancer.
Individuals who would like more information may call the Dutchess County Health Department’s Clinical Vaccine Trial Hotline at 845-486-3753. Leave a name, telephone number and a convenient time to be reached for staff follow-up.
The Dutchess County legislature is expected to consider this request at its regularly scheduled September Board meeting.