How much would it take for you to get the flu willingly? Saint Louis University researchers are hoping $3,500 will be enough to get volunteers to willingly expose themselves to the influenza virus after receiving the flu vaccine or a placebo. The hope is this experiment will lead to a better understanding of the illness, and therefore help create a better vaccine.
The study will require volunteers to be quarantined for ten days at the university's former hotel which was converted into a research room suite and has now been dubbed "Hotel Influenza." They will not be able to leave until they test negative for two days. Researcher Daniel Hoft adds that since researchers know exactly when volunteers were exposed to the flu they can be much more confident if the trial "shows the vaccine protected a small group of volunteers against the flu," and therefore researchers are "much more confident" in pushing a vaccine further along in development.