There are still many questions surrounding the H1N1 (Swine Flu) illness that continues to strike persons throughout the world during these summer months, though not in huge numbers.  Another odd thing is that it is affecting teens and young adults, rather than older persons and young children, who are usually hit the hardest by the regular flu bug.  Health officials are concerned that when school starts in late August and early September, cases will start up again, even though cooler weather won’t have begun in many areas.  Normal flu cases are more common in cold months.

These five U.S. vaccine makers have started producing a vaccine to hopefully guard the population against the Swine Flu:

  • Novartis,
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • MedImmune
  • CSL
  • Glaxo Smith Kline.

The National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases are sponsoring the tests of these vaccines at the following vaccine and treatment units:

  • Baylor College of Medicine – Houston;
  • Childrens Hospital Medical Center – Cincinnati;
  • Emory University – Atlanta;
  • Group Health Cooperative – Seattle;
  • University of Maryland – Baltimore;
  • Saint Louis University – St. Louis;
  • University of Iowa – Iowa City;
  • Vanderbilt University – Nashville;

The five vaccine makers will also begin separate clinical tests in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

On July 29th, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advice committee will vote on who will be first in line to receive the vaccine.  It is felt that children age 0-4 years, school children, youngsters with asthma, pregnant women, and critical emergency response workers should be high on the priority list.

It may be necessary for persons to receive their normal three-in-one seasonal flu vaccine a little earlier than usual, in order to be prepared to get the new vaccine once it is approved.

If there is a new wave of this illness in September, the vaccine will probably be given that month, rather than waiting until November or later.

Source: CDC