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Just one dose of swine-flu vaccine may be enough to protect against the virus, according to research at Leicester University.
Tests have shown a “strong immune response” in 80% of healthy volunteers, with 90% showing the same response after the customary two doses.
Says Dr Iain Stephenson, at the university’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation: “The aim of the trial was to find out how many doses and what type of vaccine is needed.
“The results suggest that one dose may be sufficient to protect against A(H1N1) swine flu, rather than two. These initial results should help to plan vaccination campaigns in the autumn, including doses and timings.
“Results show that the serum antibody responses were highest among subjects who received two doses of vaccine. However, a single dose also induced responses associated with protection against influenza.”
The Government is planning to vaccinate most of the population in the event of an epidemic, particularly people in at-risk groups such as those with asthma and diabetes.
This is expected to start in October, after the vaccine receives its licence. Meanwhile, larger trials are now under way around the world involving 6,000 adults and children.
Copyright Press Association 2009