Monday, October 5, 2009

Swine flu vaccine approved by health regulator and ready for use within weeks

Plans to give Britons a jab against swine flu were given a boost yesterday.Drug safety watchdogs recommended three vaccines for licensing, including the one most likely to be used in the UK. The European Safety Agency decision should be rubber-stamped by the EC within three weeks under a fasttrack system. One vaccine was Pandermix, produced by GlaxoSmithKline, which will provide most of the jabs in Britain.The Government had been hoping to start vaccinating high-risk groups, such as health workers and those with asthma and diabetes, next month.Approval has been granted for a two-dose course, although early trial results suggest one dose gives enough protection.Safety fears had been raised over the accelerated programme of trials but the European Medicines Agency said 'decades of experience' with seasonal flu vaccine meant the swine flu version should not pose any problems.The other vaccines recommended for approval were Celvapan, which is also being considered for use in Britain and Focetria by Novartis.The European Commission will probably rubber-stamp the decision on the GSK vaccine in the next few weeks....

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