Healthy living

Swine flu vaccine: first UK trial results

Zone default image Initial results find vaccine safe and effective

Preliminary results from the first swine flu vaccine to be trialled in the UK have found that it promotes a "strong immune response" in people after just a single dose.

In the pilot study, scientists from the University of Leicester tested 100 healthy volunteers, aged between 18 and 50, with a cell based vaccine to determine the best dose to provide protection against the H1N1 swine flu virus.

Results from the trial, based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, found the vaccine gave "a strong immune" response and was "well tolerated", with the only side effect recorded being some pain at the injection site.

Although two doses of the vaccine produced the highest blood antibody levels, a single dose was also found to induce a level of immune response necessary for protection against the virus.

“The results suggest that one vaccine dose may be sufficient to protect against the A(H1N1) swine flu, rather than two, " said consultant in infectious diseases Dr. Iain Stephenson who led the study.

Results from the study will also be used to help plan the UK autumn swine flu vaccination campaign. Larger trials are also underway in other parts of the world using both cell and traditional egg based H1N1 vaccines involving more than 6000 adults and children.

This article was published on Thu 3 September 2009

Image © CDC C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish

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