Friday, September 11, 2009

Studies show one dose of H1N1 vaccine may be enough

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two studies published on Thursday confirmed that a single dose of swine flu vaccine can protect people from the new pandemic H1N1 virus -- welcome news to global health officials who had worried that people might need two doses.

Australian vaccine maker CSL Inc. released new data showing its vaccine got what would be considered a protective immune response with a singe dose, and Swiss drug maker Novartis presented a study confirming a report from last week showing its vaccine worked at an even lower dose when boosted with an immune system compound called an adjuvant.

Both studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, may lay to rest fears about the logistical nightmare of trying to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people globally with two doses of H1N1 vaccine -- given a month apart -- in addition to a single recommended dose of seasonal influenza vaccine.

Last week China's Sinovac also reported its vaccine protected patients with a single dose.

The new H1N1 strain of flu, declared a pandemic in June, could eventually infect one third of the world's population, or 2 billion people, according to the World Health Organization.Read More