Sebelius: Government Approves New Swine Flu Vaccine | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Sebelius: Government Approves New Swine Flu Vaccine

Play associated audio
The newly identified H1N1 influenza virus.
Centers for Disease Control Influenza Laboratory
The newly identified H1N1 influenza virus.

By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) The Food and Drug Administration approved the new swine flu vaccine Tuesday, a long-anticipated step as the government works to get vaccinations under way next month.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the vaccine's approval to Congress and said she hopes to get the first limited supplies distributed in early October.

The bulk of the vaccine will start arriving Oct. 15, and Sebelius said it should be available at 90,000 sites around the country. "We will have enough vaccine available for everyone" eventually, Sebelius said, everyone who wants it, that is.

The government has ordered 195 million doses for now but may order more if needed, she said. Typically 100 million Americans seek flu vaccine every year.

But the vaccine, which protects against what doctors prefer to call the 2009 H1N1 flu strain, won't arrive all at once. About 45 million doses are expected by mid-October. That's why the government wants the people most likely to catch swine flu, and to suffer complications from it, to be first in line, including children and pregnant women.

FDA licensure means the government has certified that the vaccine is made properly and meets specific manufacturing and quality standards. Separately, the National Institutes of Health is studying the vaccine dosage and safety. Last week, the NIH announced that one dose appears to protect adults, and that that protection kicks in eight to 10 days after the shot. Studies in children and pregnant women are continuing.

The vaccine approved Tuesday is made by CSL Ltd. of Australia; Switzerland's Novartis; Sanofi-Pasteur of France; and Maryland-based Medimmune, which makes the only nasal-spray flu vaccine.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

NPR

Founders Claimed A Subversive Right To 'Nature's God'

The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation, insists historian Matthew Stewart. He tells NPR's Arun Rath about his book, "Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic."
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Will Become Of Obama's Request For Immigration Relief Funds?

NPR's Arun Rath talks to political correspondent Mara Liasson the chances of a political agreement over how to handle the migration of thousands of Central American children.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.