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UK swine flu vaccine trial underway

Swine flu vaccine trials underway in UK Results expected in September

The first UK trial of a swine flu vaccine is taking place at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

175 human volunteers have been given doses of the vaccine, and blood samples are now being taken to see how much immunity it provides.

So far the study, led by Dr Iain Stephenson of the University of Leicester, has established that two doses of the vaccine are required to build up sufficient immunity.

He commented: "It is almost certain two doses of vaccine will be needed. Unlike seasonal flu, where people’s bodies are partly primed to fight the virus, swine flu is a new infection none of us has met before. The vaccinations during the trails are being given between one-three weeks apart."

"Because of this your body needs a priming dose and then a boosting dose. The lower the dose the more of the vaccine can be shared among the population. The trial will also help determine how far apart the injections need to be given."

The results from the trial are expected next month (September).

Earlier this year, in his paper published in PNAS- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA- Dr Stephenson made the first case for a pre-pandemic vaccine to mitigate the worst effects of pandemic flu.

More information

TheFamilyGP guide to swine flu

This article was published on Wed 12 August 2009

Image © Leah-Anne Thompson -

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