China may Approve 1-dose Swine Flu Vaccine


Two Chinese vaccine makers, Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Hualan Biological Engineering Inc., say clinical trials show that their products are effective in single doses for people aged three to 60 years. More than 3,000 people participated in the trials.
Sinovac says it has the capacity to produce up to 30 million doses of swine flu vaccine in a year while Hualan said it can make 160 million doses.
This is an encouraging development for world health officials, as it had previously been assumed that two doses of the vaccine would be needed for full protection. Authorities still await the results of trials now being conducted by pharmaceutical companies around the world as they hurry to prepare to for the winter flu season.
On its website, China's State Food and Drug Administration says it will decide this week whether or not to approve the two vaccines. The vaccines completed clinical trials last month and were reviewed by panels of 40 experts.
China has recently begun stockpiling vaccines in an attempt to contain the spread of swine flu. However, with a population of 1.3 billion, this has proved a difficult task. The country has quarantined travelers suspected of contact with infected people and ordered schools to test students' temperatures. So far, around 3,700 cases of swine flu have been confirmed on the mainland. No cases have been fatal.
China plans to be able to vaccinate 5 percent of the public by the end of the year, beginning with health workers, public service officials, and students.
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