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BACKGROUND: Pre-existing T cell responses to influenza have been correlated with improved clinical outcomes in natural history and human challenge studies. We aimed to determine the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of a T-cell directed vaccine in older people. METHODS: This was a multicentre, participant- and safety assessor-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of the co-administration of Modified Vaccinia Ankara encoding nucleoprotein and matrix protein 1 (MVA-NP+M1) and annual influenza vaccine in participants ≥ 65. The primary outcome was the number of days with moderate or severe influenza-like symptoms (ILS) during the influenza season. RESULTS: 846 of a planned 2030 participants were recruited in the UK prior to, and throughout, the 2017/18 flu season. There was no evidence of a difference in the reported rates of days of moderate or severe ILS during influenza-like illness episodes (unadjusted OR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.54-1.69; adjusted OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.51-1.65). The trial was stopped after one season due to a change in the recommended annual flu vaccine, for which safety of the new combination had not been established. More participants in the MVA-NP+M1 group had transient moderate or severe pain, redness, and systemic responses in the first seven days. CONCLUSION: The MVA-NP+M1 vaccine is well tolerated in those aged 65 years and over. Larger trials would be needed to determine potential efficacy.

Original publication




Journal article


Vaccines (Basel)

Publication Date





MVA, elderly, influenza, nucleoprotein, vaccination