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Swine Flu Vaccine Gets Ready for School

By Neetal Parekh | Last updated on

Back-to-school lists just got a little longer. 

The U.S. anticipates the first batch of swine flu vaccine, projected to be over 100 million doses, to be ready for release in late October and to be earmarked for school-aged children.  That is, of course, pending final tests on the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Clinical trials for swine flu vaccines are being rush-ordered by pharmaceutical companies.  The first trials in the U.S. will begin in August with 2400 volunteers being tested in a compressed two-month time-frame.  They will be conducted by European pharmaceutical manufacturer, Sanofi-Pasteur and Australian CLS Biotherapies.  Novartis will also be testing its vaccine in a separate trial for FDA approval.

MedImmune, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is working on a nasal spray version of a swine flu vaccine.  It now projects producing five times the amount of the nasal spray swine flu vaccine than it originally anticipated, being able to produce potentially 200 million doses.  Production has boomed for this alternative to traditional injection form of the vaccine, such that MedImmune may not have enough sprayers to support the amount of vaccine available.  With a nod of approval from the FDA, the vaccine may also be able to be administered using droppers. 

Schools are also gearing up to be back in session in these pandemic times.  They are devising action plans to help minimize instances and spread of any swine flu cases, as well as planning how to effectively and efficiently distribute the vaccine once it is released.


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