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Swine Flu Vaccine Dosing
Swine Flu Vaccine Distribution
As of October 15, 2009 we are still a few weeks away from all states having an injectable vaccine.
However, nasal (live virus) vaccines are now available in most states. This hub will discuss which version of what vaccine is available and who should get it first.
It will also name the companies charged with manufacturing the vaccines, who is most at risk from Swine Flu, and when all states can expect to have all versions of the vaccine.
Swine Flu Vaccine Shots
All references to licensing or administration of vaccine assumes within the United States.
Sanofi Pastuer has been conducting tests to determine the immune response of children to it's vaccine. They have found that two shots of the weaker version of their vaccine is more effective than one shot of the stronger vaccine.
Federal scientists say this news jibes with their own research citing the fact that the regular winter flu vaccine also requires two shots for children. This is assuming that the administration of the vaccine is for the first time in a child's life. Federal research and research by Sanofi both confirm that protection from a single shot is not enough to allow one dose to provide immunity.
Sandofi tested two strengths of their vaccine, given as two shots, three weeks apart. This vaccine was tested on just less than five hundred children aged six months through nine years of age. Only half the children six months to three years of age were determined to have enough immunity due to the vaccine. Three Fourths of those three to nine years old also did not exhibit enough immunity
Sandofi determined that for adults, one shot of the higher strength vaccine provided enough immunity to Swine Flu.
Vaccine is slowly making it's way to the individual states for administration. Roughly a quarter of the doses projected are now in the hands of state officials.
Federal health officials are recommending that the following receive the first vaccinations in this order.
- Critical Health Care Professionals
- Children 0 to 4 years old
- School-age children
- Children with asthma
- Pregnant Women
Vaccine Dosing - U.S. Recommendation
Form of Vaccine
Number of Doses
6 months ~ 9 years
2 (three to four weeks apart)
9 years and up
6 months ~ 9 years
2 (three to four weeks apart)
10 years and up
Swine Flu Nasal Spray
Should the person seeking the vaccine be an adult with no health problems FluMist tm is recommended. This vaccine contains a "live", but attentuated virus and is recommended for people two years to forty-nine years of age. This is the vaccine most widely available now. FluMist is a trademark of MedImmune.
FluMist is the only nasal "live" attenuated virus vaccine approved in the U.S.
For children two doses are recommended three to four weeks apart. For adults one dose is recommended. The dose strength for children is milder than the dose for adults.
Who Makes The Swine Flu Vaccine
Injectible Swine Flu vaccine is manufacturered by five companies here in the United States. They are;
- Novartis at 46% of all doses
- Sanofi Pasteur at 26% of all doses
- CSL at 19% of all doses
- MedImmune at 6% of all doses
- GlaxoSmithKline at 3% of all doses
These vaccines are slowly making their way to individual states as of this writing.
Who Makes The Anti-Virals
Oseltamivir, the generic name for TamiFlu, and zanamivir, the generic name for Relenza, are already available as anti-virals. Please note the these are not vaccines, but powerful drugs capable of killing a live virus.
TamiFlu is manufactured by Roche Pharmaceutical.
Relenza is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
Both companies have ramped up production of their anti-virals since the Swine Flu pandemic became apparent.
What About Seasonal (Winter) Flu Vaccine?
Swine Flu vaccines do not contain antigens or the "dead" viruses for Winter Flu. Therefore the regular Seasonal (Winter) Flu vaccine should also be taken along with the Swine Flu vaccine.
TamiFlu Dosing Problems
The TamiFlu dose cup has measurements in milliliters, but doctors often prescribe the drug by teaspoon. This is a real issue and can lead to over-dosing and under-dosing. Be sure to ask your doctor to write the prescription such that it matches the units of measure in the TamiFlu packaging.-- Source FDA, Food Consumer
Chldren's Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
Medical researchers testing both the Swine and Winter flu vaccines have found that giving Children's Tylenoltm (or any child's Acetaminophen medication) can actually reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Why this happens is not yet known, but the effect is real.
Therefore health researchers are now recommending that Children's Tylenol not be given during the first days after vaccination. -- Source MSN Health & Fitness, Atlanta Journal Constitution
Although the timeline originally called for all states to have access to an injectable vaccine by mid-October, this time-line seems to have slipped. Regardless, the first people to be offered the vaccine will be health-care workers.
The best source of availability information for your city and/or state will be print, radio and television media.
October 16, 2009
Availability figures are that only 29 to 30 million doses of the dead Swine Flu virus vaccine will be available by the end of this month 40 million was the original target by the middle of the month e.g. now.
October 21, 2009
The CDC now reports that Swine Flu (2009H1N1) injectable vaccine will not be widely available until mid-November.