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Swine flu vaccine 'works after just one dose'

By Lilian Anekwe

Early trial results of the swine flu vaccine show it may be effective after just one dose – prompting hopes the GP workload during the vaccination programme could be halved.

A pilot study tested the efficacy and tolerability of the swine flu vaccine in 175 volunteers aged 18 to 50, and found patients showed a strong immune response after just one dose of the Novartis vaccine, to be called Celtura. Previous research had suggested two doses would be needed.

The new findings may affect the ongoing negotiations over how GPs will be paid for giving the swine flu vaccine.

In the trial, serum antibody responses reached 1:40 or greater – the level of immunogenicity required by European regulators – in 80% of those receiving one dose and more than 90% in those given two doses.

Trial leader Dr Iain Stephenson, clinical senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, said: ‘The results suggest one vaccine dose may be sufficient to protect against swine flu. These initial results should help to plan campaigns in the autumn, including doses and timings.'

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson reacted cautiously to the trial's findings: ‘It's possible people will need one dose rather than two, but we continue to monitor it.'

Early trials of the swine flu vaccine suggest it may be effective after just one dose Early trials of the swine flu vaccine suggest it may be effective after just one dose Take our swine flu survey - and win an iPod Touch!

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