H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Breakthrough: Just One Dose Is Enough
New developments in H1N1 swine flu vaccination effort today – experts now say, just one dose of the vaccine will be sufficient to protect against the virus, not two doses as was previously recommended.
Typically, two doses of the vaccine are necessary because the second dose is supposed to mimic a secondary exposure for the immune system, so that the response mounted becomes even stronger and the antibodies produced stay around for longer. The second dose typically carries an adjuvant, a chemical which stimulates the immune system to build up anti-viral protection better.
But what does this new development mean for the general population and the pharmaceutical industry? For an average person out there, it really means less pokes and visits to the doctor’s office, which again reduces the chance of contracting the virus while sitting in the waiting room with other patients. For the industry, it means some degree of cost cutting. Less vaccine to inject implies less resources used to make it, transport it and actually administer it – the industry and government will spend less on chemicals, trucks and overtime pay for the nurses. What it also means is that the vaccine produced is strong enough to build decent protection after just one dose -- a testament to the work of hundreds of scientists since the H1N1 virus started making the news. Finally, less vaccine per person means more vaccine for world’s population in general.
Mass vaccination programs against swine flu are going to be a lot easier to mount than first thought, experts said Thursday after the fast-tracked publication of studies showing one dose should be enough to protect most people.
Originally there has been concern a total of three shots would be needed.
Australian shot maker CSL Ltd. published results of a study that found 75 percent to 96 percent of vaccinated people should be protected with one dose. U.S. data to be released Friday confirms those findings and shows the protection starts rapidly, lead U.S. scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told The Associated Press.