First Swine Flu Vaccines Approved

vaccineThe U.S. government has approved swine flu vaccines from four pharmaceutical companies, Reuters reports. CSL, Medimmune, Novartis, and Sanofi-Aventis received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their H1N1 vaccines. The new vaccines will be available within four weeks.

There has been some trepidation about the safety of the vaccines, given the fact that clinical trials just started early last month. However, preliminary data has shown the vaccines to be well tolerated within eight to ten days of inoculation. Last week, it was announced that CSL’s swine flu vaccine protected subjects with only one dose.

The H1N1 influenza virus surfaced last spring and quickly spread around the world. A pandemic was declared in June. The virus has invaded nearly 170 countries to date. Over 6,000 people worldwide have contracted swine flu, with 201 deaths to date. Pregnant women and people under 24 years old seem particularly vulnerable to the disease.

 The U.S. government plans to launch a massive vaccination campaign in October. According to U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, there are 300,000 potential users, although not every American will decide to get the vaccine. The government has already contracted to buy 195 million doses from five different manufacturers. However, the vaccines may not arrive soon enough: Researchers in Washington found that the vaccines may become available just as the epidemic is reaching its peak.

Other companies are still making progress toward their own swine flu vaccines and treatments. The CEO of Novavax says the company is in talks with half a dozen countries that are seeking swine flu vaccines. Cel-Sci raised $4.4 million to help speed up work on its swine flu treatment. Vical recently announced that its swine flu vaccine showed positive results in mice and rabbits.

Related news: BioNeutral’s Ygiene Kills Swine Flu In 20 Seconds, Test Shows

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