St. Louis University to test swine flu vaccines
By Catherine Wolf, KWMU
St. Louis, MO –
St. Louis University is one of eight U.S. institutions chosen by the National Institutes of Health to test the safety of swine flu vaccines this summer.
The clinical trials are expected to begin in August and to include hundreds of people, ranging from babies and children to the elderly. Doctors will study how the vaccines affect the immune system and if they can be given with a yearly flu shot.
Center for Vaccine Development lead investigator Dr. Sharon Frey said participants may have minor side effects from testing the vaccines, but won't contract swine flu.
"Younger people may have more side effects like aches and pains or maybe a little bit of fever, but I will tell you, you cannot get the flu from a flu vaccine."
Frey said if a safe vaccine is found it could be available as soon as fall, and would be given at the same time as a yearly flu shot.
"People will need two vaccines. They will the typical, usual, routine seasonal flu, which protects against the three most common circulating strains at the time, plus the novel H1N1 vaccine."
The World Health Organization declared swine flu a global pandemic in June. Frey estimates it could sicken as many as one in five people this fall because they haven't developed a natural resistance to the new strain.
To date, the Centers for Disease Control has recorded 70 confirmed and probable cases of the virus in Missouri.