Wednesday, Sept 2, 2009
H1N1 vaccines should offer broad protection even if the pandemic flu virus mutates as it spreads, a top World Health Organization expert said on Wednesday.
Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO’s vaccine research program, said that health workers should get immunized first when the shots begin to be distributed, as early as this month.
“The consensus is that the first doses will be available to governments for use in September,” she said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that it was unlikely the vaccines would be available before October.
About 30 candidate vaccines are being worked on in the rush to combat the flu strain that first emerged in Mexico and the United States and then moved around the world. The WHO declared it a global pandemic in June.