KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Government Orders Additional H1N1 Vaccine

Associated Press/Boston Globe reports that on Monday, "the United States ordered more swine flu vaccine, bringing its eventual total to 251 million doses, up from the long-planned 195 million doses. That's an ambitious undertaking for a country where fewer than 100 million people normally get a winter flu shot" (Neergaard, 9/22). AP/ABC News reports the government ordered an "extra 27.3 million doses" from Sanofi Pasteur and "29 million more doses of the nasal-spray version of swine flu vaccine, MedImmune LLC's FluMist" (9/21).

Washington Business Journal: "MedImmune said it's already produced enough bulk vaccine to fill those HHS orders -- the company has said it has the capacity to produce 200 million doses -- and it said the FDA has already begun releasing its first 3.4 million doses of its FluMist-based product" (Sinha, 9/21).

Also on Monday, U.S. health officials announced the results of the latest H1N1 vaccine clinical trials, which revealed a single-dose of the H1N1 vaccine produces an immune response in children ages 10 to 17 years similar to the response seen in adults, the New York Times reports. "Children 6 months to 9 years old received some protection from one shot, but not enough, so health officials will recommend that they get two shots 21 days apart," a pattern similar to that seen with the seasonal flu vaccine, the newspaper writes (McNeil, 9/21).

The preliminary results were based on tests of the H1N1 vaccine in about 600 children, ages 6 months to 17 years, the Washington Post reports. The data also suggests the vaccines are safe in children. "Although data are not yet available for the new FluMist nasal spray, officials said they expect similar findings for that [H1N1] vaccine," the newspaper writes (Stein, 9/22).

USA Today: "'As we had hoped, in children the 2009 H1N1 vaccine is acting like seasonal flu vaccine,' says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsored the study. 'The response in young children is less robust, but this is not unexpected'" (Sternberg, 9/21).

NPR's Health Blog: "Results on how the vaccine performs in pregnant women -- also considered at higher risk from swine flu, along with children, young adults and those with chronic medical conditions -- are expected sometime next month" (Knox, 9/21).

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