One vaccine shot protective for swine flu. New York Times

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by gapsych, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    This is from today's New York Times

    September 11, 2009
    One Vaccine Shot Seen as Protective for Swine Flu

    Defying the expectations of experts, clinical trials are showing that the new H1N1 swine flu vaccine protects with only one dose instead of two, so the vaccine supplies now being made will go twice as far as had been predicted.

    That means it should be possible to vaccinate — well before the flu’s expected midwinter peak — all the 159 million people that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate are in the high-risk groups: pregnant women, people under 24 years old or caring for infants, people with high-risk medical conditions and health-care workers.

    Barring production delays, the government hopes to have in hand 195 million doses by year’s end.

    The first convincing trial results from a single 15-microgram dose in adults were published online Thursday afternoon by The New England Journal of Medicine. That trial was done in Australia, but the vaccine maker, CSL Limited, is under contract to supply millions of doses to the United States government, and the president of the company’s American subsidiary said he expected its trials here to have similar results.

    The H1N1 swine flu pandemic has now reached 168 countries. It arrived in the United States late in the spring and infected more than one million people. It did not fade out as seasonal flu does, but persisted, especially in summer camps. Nearly 600 people had died by the end of August, according to the disease control agency.

    Cases are now surging again, especially in the Southeast where many schools and universities reopen earlier than in the rest of the country.

    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said trials now under way under the sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health were showing that adults who got only a single dose were protected within 8 to 10 days, which he said “corroborates and confirms the exciting data” reported in the Australian study.

    Robust protection produced so quickly in high-risk groups means lives will presumably be saved, Dr. Fauci said.

    Costs will also be lowered by having a more efficient vaccine, he said, “but I can’t give you a dollar figure.”

    Also, more vaccine could be available to poor countries that were largely left out of last spring’s global scramble to sign vaccine makers to contracts. Experts have worried that rich countries would be protected this winter while poor ones — where people are more likely to die because of drug shortages and substandard hospital care — would bear the brunt of the pandemic.

    “This is definitely a big deal,” said Dr. John J. Treanor, a vaccine expert at the University of Rochester. “People had been planning for a scenario that would require two doses.”

    “This will take the edge off the nail-biting,” Dr. Treanor added.

    The results released Thursday were based on the first three weeks of a clinical trial. Healthy adults got one 15-microgram shot, and their blood was tested 21 days later. By that time, 97 percent of the 120 adults had enough antibodies to be considered protected. Another group that got 30-microgram doses had no greater protection.

    There were no deaths or dangerous side-effects. Almost half of the participants reported sore arms or headaches, but that is normal with flu shots.

    The American trials began about two weeks later, said Paul R. Perreault, president of CSL Biotherapies, the company’s American subsidiary. “My experience with this tells me they shouldn’t be any different,” Mr. Perreault said.

    Dr. Fauci said he would discuss the details of the N.I.H. trials at a news conference on Friday afternoon.

    Seasonal flu shots are available now, and Federal officials are urging Americans to get one. Little or no swine flu vaccine will be available before late October. There have been no clinical trials of giving both shots at the same time, and Federal health officials have issued no recommendations on that.

    Experts had predicted for months that, because the H1N1 swine flu has never been seen before by human immune systems, it would take two doses, administered weeks apart, to get a “take” — antibody levels as high as those produced by regular flu shots.

    The authors of the Australian study said the robust response implied that there was some previously unsuspected crossover protection from having had previous strains of H1N1 seasonal flus or from the H1N1 components of seasonal flu shots.

    In mid-August, a Chinese vaccine maker, Sinovac Biotech, also reported that one shot of its vaccine gave protection against the flu. But because it released no data about the size of the dose or the composition of its vaccine, it was impossible for American experts to evaluate the claim.

    Also, none of the 10 Chinese companies producing swine flu vaccine have licenses to sell in the United States, as CSL does, so their vaccines would have virtually no impact on the spread of the disease here.

    Although the Australian trial was in healthy adults only, Dr. Treanor said he believed one dose of the new vaccine would prove effective in everyone from age 9 and up.

    Pediatricians usually give two shots to children ages 6 months to 9 years who have never had a flu shot; the first primes the immune system and subsequent shots act as boosters that create new surges of antibodies, though slightly varied each year as strains mutate.

    Infants under 6 months old are not normally given flu shots. Pregnant women are, and babies can inherit some temporary immunity from their mothers.

  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I watched CNN and HLN this morning and they also were confirming that instead of several swine flu vaccines as had been originally believed, the doctors are now reporting that one swine flu vaccine injection will be sufficient. The HMO center where I go insists their personnel get flu shots (and the regular flu vaccine is already in and shots started) and I asked them about swine flu shots and they told me they all have to get them (except those who are pregnant and it will be their choice).

    In Arizona, there are already giving the regular flu vaccines, and I had mine back on September 4. Our season for flu begins when the winter tourists start returning and most will travel through many states by car, by Winnebago, hauling travel trailers on the back, and can arrive sick with viruses and flu and as they are in mid journey they will continue until they get to their winter home in Arizona.
  3. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    The H1N1 virus we're being "protected against" is relatively mild. Few if any deaths reported in the US despite a fairly virulent bug.

    For those of us who survived the 1976 swine flu outbreak, chances are good that we'll dodge the disease entirely without vaccination. Or perhaps have a mild case ... a headache.

    Forbes & other financial mags are hot on regurgitating this "newsbreak." There's a billion or more in it for the pharmas involved, and their investors. (market tip;)

    It's being claimed that the CSL vacc is adjuvant free. However CSL's market niche is in proprietary vaccine adjuvants.

    I'm guessing it's quite possible there's game-playing going on with definitions. CSL is an Australian pharmaceutical manufacturer; their flagship product is a proprietary adjuvant; a lipophilic, saponic ISCOM peptide derived from a native Australian botanical. ISCOMs (Immune Stimulating Compounds) are chemically and biologically dissimilar to FDA defined metal-salt type adjuvants that are used in the USA. So, it's possible that the FDA hasn't yet categorized everything in CSL's vaccine.

    In the short term, the H1N1 vaccine is being presented as offering "protection" from a fairly innocuous flu. In the longer term, WE DO NOT KNOW what side effects may arise from this vaccine.

    Biological sense says lipophilics (fat-lovers) & saponics (soap-like fat emulsifiers) combined with virus might make for long-term slow, stealthy neurological mischief, being as neuro tissue is highly fatty.

    I'm recalling the FDA-unapproved use of Squalene (a fatty acid adjuvant) in Anthrax vaccs given to the US military. The majority of Gulf War Syndrome sufferers show anti-squalene antibodies.

    Yes, I will prepare for the H1N1 flu season. A few more tissue boxes, a little frozen chicken soup, lots of hand-washing.

    Best wishes.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/11/2009]
  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    The more I research, the more I believe this vaccine is going to be helpful.

    The swine flu vaccination is not experimental. It is like other vaccinations made over the years. The chance of getting GBS is one in a million. I'll take the chance over the flu any day.

    I still plan to get the vaccination. But that is my choice. If I drop dead from it, I'll let people know.

    gap :D

    [This Message was Edited on 09/11/2009]
  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member


    As Seen on GMA: Swine Flu Myths
    Experts Debunk Four Common Myths About Swine Flu
    ABC News Medical Unit
    May 28, 2009

    Since it first caught public attention a little over a month ago, swine flu has captured numerous headlines, in addition to generating a lot of new, cautionary information for people to learn.

    According to the World Health Organization, the virus has infected 13,398 people and caused 95 deaths. The WHO has stated that countries should begin preparing for a possible pandemic and this week vaccine manufacturers for the United States began receiving sample viruses from which to make a swine flu vaccine.

    While swine flu has not yet had a major impact here, concerns remain over the effect the virus might have when flu season begins in earnest next fall.

    It should be no surprise that a number of myths have emerged about how to avoid the virus and what all of this means.

    Below we look at four common myths to help you understand what to expect from this strain of influenza virus.

    1. Swine flu is more benign than seasonal flu.

    According to the WHO, 95 people worldwide have died of confirmed cases of swine flu.

    However, seasonal flu claimed an average of 36,000 lives annually in the 1990s, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    While many believe that swine flu is waning and these numbers may lead people to believe that swine flu is not as bad as seasonal flu, the situation can be deceiving.

    Swine flu emerged at the end of the traditional flu season. With more people spending time outdoors and schools getting out for the summer, the virus is not nearly as likely to spread as it would be during the regular flu season, which begins in the fall and typically peaks in February.

    As influenza expert Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University said in an interview with ABC News:

    "All that early discussion about mildness should be modified as the information has evolved," he said. "It's not a harmless infection. We anticipate that whatever it does this summer, it's likely to be a major player in the fall, and when something this new and unpredictable shows up, we are well-advised to do our best to prepare for it."

    Get Your Questions Answered at the ABC News OnCall+ Swine Flu Center

    Swine flu may not create a major hazard, similar to 1976, when many were worried but the virus had a relatively small impact. For that reason, the CDC will prepare a vaccine for swine flu but will monitor the virus before making the separate decision of whether to deploy it.

    2. You can get swine flu from eating or handling pork.

    To date, no evidence has been found to link eating or handling pork to contracting swine flu.
    swine flu

    As the cases of the new swine flu virus continue to rise, so too do the misconceptions about the illness.

    "By eating pork or handling pork products you won't [contract] H1N1," said Ed Hsu, an associate professor of health informatics at the University of Texas Health Science Center and a contributor to ABC News's OnCall+ Swine Flu site. "There is no scientific evidence or literature or any studies that suggest that one contracts H1N1 virus through eating pork or handling pork products."

    Additionally, USDA guidelines say to cook pork products to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to kill pathogens that live on raw pork. That temperature would kill the swine flu virus.

    3. If you got a seasonal flu shot you are protected from swine flu.

    While a strain of H1N1 virus is one of the three flu viruses contained in the annual flu vaccine, it does not match the strain of swine flu that has been making people sick, and so the vaccine will likely not provide full protection against the flu.

    "It's unclear at this time whether previous flu shots or having had the flu in the past will protect you from swine flu," said Dr. Christopher Ohl, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

    "Certainly, to have full protection is not going to be possible," he said. "However, it may be that some partial protection may be provided by earlier shots or having had the flu."

    Seasonal flu vaccine development is well under way, but the first viruses from which manufacturers will make swine flu vaccines are only being delivered this week.

    The CDC expects those to be made and tested at the end of June and then made so that they can be available in the fall, when flu season begins.

    At that time, CDC officials will be tracking the swine flu to see if they need to deploy the swine flu vaccine.

    So, to be fully protected against flu strains likely to be around next flu season, you will likely need more than one vaccination.

    4. When the World Health Organization's pandemic alert level rises, it means the swine flu is becoming deadlier.

    The pandemic alert level is not a measure of swine flu's deadliness. Rather, it's a measure of how widespread the disease has become.

    As the WHO notes, Level 5 -- the current level for swine flu -- indicates that the disease has spread from person to person and a pandemic is considered "imminent."

    At this point, the WHO advises countries to be prepared for a possible pandemic.

    A pandemic is not considered to be under way unless the pandemic alert level is raised to Level 6.

    As the WHO notes on its Web site, "While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short."


    Do you want to know more about swine flu? Visit the OnCall+ Swine Flu Center to get all your questions answered.


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