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Clenching his fists and boldly watching, 8-year-old Jovonte Whiters of Richmond, Va., gets an injection of swine flu vaccine from nurse Kate Gartland at VCU Medical Center. From left, Ahlaysia Barrett, 4, looks on as she waits her turn for a shot, while Jovonte's sister, To'nia Whiters, 4, keeps her eyes closed.
Photo Credit: Sandra Sellars/Richmond Free Press
Swine Flu Update: One Dose of Vaccine Can Protect You
Special to the NNPA from the Richmond Free Press
Good news in the world's flu fight: One dose of the new swine flu vaccine looks strong enough to protect adults--and can spark protection within 10 days of the shot, researchers have found. U.S. data show up to 96 percent of people who received shots in clinical trials were protected with one shot and the protection started within eight to 10 days, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health.
"This is quite good news," he said. It means supplies of H1N1 vaccine can go further. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius this week promised Congress that enough doses would be available for every American who wants one.
Sebelius said she expects the first doses of swine flu vaccine to be available during the first week of October for health workers and to begin shipping more widely by mid-October.
The one-shot results are for adults; studies are still under way for children.Â The finding came from studies in America, Australia and China. Those studies showed that a standard 15-microgram dose was enough to generate protection.
About 45 percent of recipients had mild reactions such as headaches, sore arms or redness at the shot sites, all of which cleared quickly, the studies noted.
Despite all the headlines about swine flu, the main influenza strain now circulating in the world, Sebelius also warned that people cannot afford to ignore seasonal flu--the kind that every year kills 36,000 Americans and hospitalizes 200,000.
"Take some individual responsibility to stay healthy during the flu season," by getting both a seasonal flu shot as well as an H1N1 flu shot, she said. Regular flu vaccine is already available.Â She said busy doctors want to complete regular vaccinations so they can be ready to deal with H1N1 shots. Regular flu shots also are available at pharmacies and through some local governments.
No one knows how many flu outbreaks there will be. Virginia and several other Southeast states already have had outbreaks of H1N1 at some schools and colleges. A typical school student who catches swine flu will spread it to two to three classmates, a new estimate finds.