H1N1 Vaccine Tests Underway

Vacuna influenza / Flu vaccine
Image by alvi2047 via Flickr

There has been a lot of rumor and gossip about H1N1 vaccine’s that are going to be used without testing – but the rumors are just that. In fact human trials are just starting for vaccines with four different companies testing vaccines. The tests and approvals have been fast tracked in order to get as much vaccine ready for the northern hemisphere flu season as possible.

Interestingly, Glaxo is testing vaccines with an adjuvant – an additive designed to increase effectiveness and improves the body’s response to the vaccine. Adjuvants have not been used in past flu vaccines and tests are underway for vaccine both with and without adjuvant.

Glaxo also says that it has orders for over 290 million doses and plans to donate 50 million doses to the WHO. There isn’t any information on what the other companies orders are like, but in addition, the US is known to have ordered $250 million of vaccine ingredients.

One of the more fortunate aspects of the H1N1 outbreak so far is that the ongoing spread through Spring and Summer has given a wide spread of people the opportunity to develop some natural immunity. But since flu viruses are particularly likely to mutate, it is not yet known how much immunity a previous exposure will provide.

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