H1N1 vaccine works, and in just one dose

September 14, 2009

How does a vaccine supply get doubled overnight? By finding out that the second dose isn't needed to get efficacy.

How does a vaccine supply get doubled overnight? By finding out that the second dose isn’t needed to get efficacy.

New research was published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, and announced by Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She said that the first of a planned two immunizations against H1N1 produced such a “robust” effect that 97% of recipients has enough present antibodies to be considered protected.

Since there was a rush to create as many H1N1 doses as possible, this means that the hundreds of millions of doses will now go twice as far. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that at-risk populations should receive the immunization first – health care workers, people under 24, people taking care of infants or in bad health. The US government has purchased 195 million doses from multiple vaccine makers.

The first batch of H1N1 vaccines will be available in October, and will be reserved for the at-risk population. Young children may still need two shots, though, as with the first time they receive a traditional influenza immunization.