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Swine Flu Vaccine Seems Safe: Experts
Date:9/4/2009

surveillance."

Such a surveillance system will be in place and operable when the first vaccinations start to roll out. Fauci anticipates that 45 million to 50 million doses will be available by Oct. 15.

Many people are painfully aware of a U.S. government decision in 1976 to vaccinate 43 million people against swine flu -- it backfired badly.

Not only did the dreaded outbreak never materialize, but some 500 Americans who did get vaccinated came down with a rare neurodegenerative condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome, which many experts believe was linked to the shot. Twenty-five of those 500 people died.

One thing that's already different about this year's H1N1 virus: The 1976 virus never spread beyond 240 soldiers stationed at Fort Dix, N.J., while the current outbreak has already sickened more than 200,000 people worldwide, killing 2,200 or more, according to the World Health Organization.

"That [1976] virus never evolved," Moore said. "People thought it was going to be a new pandemic. It didn't turn out to be. The threat wasn't as big as they thought. This virus has already demonstrated that it has spread."

Still, segments of the public may be wary of any vaccine they perceive as being rushed out too fast. A report in a recent issue of the BMJ found that more than half of all health-care workers surveyed in Hong Kong have already decided not to get vaccinated because of fears about safety and doubts on efficacy.

U.S. officials do not yet know whether the vaccine will require one or two doses. "We will know in a week or so if one dose is going to be enough," Fauci said. "We're hoping it's going to be one."

Reports published Thursday by drug maker Novartis suggest its vaccine may be effective after just one jab.

If two doses are needed, researchers will need to figure out how far apart they should be given, Moore said, and whether an adjuvant -- something to bo
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