Posts Tagged ‘fast-track’
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
Vaccines were shipped to eight Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Units across the nation Thursday night, said Linda Perrett, a spokeswoman for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is coordinating the trials.
Starting today, hundreds of volunteers nationwide will join the fast-track tests that must be completed before nationwide vaccine distribution can begin, probably in mid-October.
As many as 2,800 people are expected to participate in five initial trials of vaccines produced by two manufacturers, Sanofi Pasteur and CSL Biotherapies. Tests on healthy adults ages 18 to 64 will be followed by shots for volunteers older than 65 and children ages 6 months to 17 years.
The main aim of the trials is to to see how much vaccine it takes to elicit a strong immune system response to beat back the new virus, said Dr. Lisa Jackson, the principal researcher who’s heading the trials at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. “It’s very important to see whether we need a higher strength or not,” said Jackson.
The trials will test whether one or two shots of vaccine, at both 15-microgram and 30-microgram doses, are necessary to stimulate immune system protection against the virus. Other studies will determine whether it’s safe to give seasonal flu vaccine along with the H1N1 vaccine in adults and children.
Without vaccination, more than half of the U.S. population could become infected by the virus, with more than a third becoming ill, perhaps seriously, according to estimates by leading influenza researchers.
The trials are scheduled to take weeks, not months, with the goal of beating the fall and winter flu season.
If they need volunteers among cranky old geezers in my neck of the prairie, of course, I’ll volunteer. I’m glad to do so. The last thing I’m about to do is succumb to the hysteria of the nutballs and Palins of the nation – and reject a medical practice as essential as vaccination.
I get my flu shots every year. Having survived the flu epidemics of the 1950′s and 1960′s – I wouldn’t wish those symptoms on anyone. Even superstitious science-haters.