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Archive for Saturday, September 19, 2009

First swine flu vaccines may be nasal spray

September 19, 2009

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Swine Flu Pandemic

An outbreak of H1N1 Swine Flu was reported in Mexico in April 2009. By the end of May, it had spread across the U.S., with all 50 states reporting cases.

— The first doses of swine flu vaccine may all be the nasal spray version, government health officials said Friday.

The government has said a trickle of vaccine will be available in early October, but on Friday they defined the size of that trickle — an estimated 3.4 million doses.

Currently it looks like all of them will be a nasal spray vaccine that is approved only for healthy people ages 2 to 49, said Dr. Jay Butler, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nasal spray, called FluMist, is not recommended for some of the people most in danger of severe swine flu complications. That includes pregnant women, children younger than 2, and people with asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases.

However, it’s possible that some vaccine shots will become available by the first week of October as well, said Butler, chief of the CDC’s swine flu vaccine task force.

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