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U.S. Swine Flu Vaccine Trials Set to Begin
Date:7/22/2009

Announcement comes day after first such program in world started in Australia

WEDNESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- The United States is readying its first human trials of an experimental vaccine to protect against the H1N1 swine flu virus, officials announced Wednesday.

Two possible vaccines will be tested at eight institutions around the country under the auspices of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The purpose of the trials, said NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci in a prepared statement, is to "determine whether the vaccines are safe and to assess their ability to induce protective immune responses. These data will be factored into the decision about how and if to implement a 2009 H1N1 flu immunization program this fall."

The announcement follows Tuesday's revelation that two Australian biotechnology companies have started inoculating adult volunteers in the world's first H1N1 swine flu vaccine trials. Those trials, as well as the trials planned in the United States, hope to produce an effective shot against the virus that has so far killed more than 700 people worldwide.

In the United States, several trials will be conducted concurrently, officials said.

"I think the speed with which they [federal officials] got this going is impressive," said one expert, Dr. John J. Treanor, professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New York. "They have a really well-organized clinical trials infrastructure that is uniquely posed to do these kinds of studies when there's an emergency situation like there is now."

One of the NIAID studies will try to determine if one or two 15-microgram doses of the candidate H1N1 vaccine are sufficient to provoke an immune response in healthy adults aged 18 to 64 and in people aged 65 and older. Studies will also look at whether one or two doses of 30 microgra
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