Intensive testing needed for single-dose swine flu vaccine

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2009, 00:00 AM IST

New Delhi: A vaccine which produces a
robust immune response at one go might make swine flu easier
to handle, but authorities in India feel any such immunisation
needs intensive testing as it may compound any side effects
the vaccine might have.

According to Director of Indian Council of Health Research
(ICMR), VM Katoch, any vaccine which is introduced in India
will have to be tested on the Indian population as any side
effects which the vaccine might have will be compounded.

Katoch`s remarks came in the backdrop of reports of a
single shot vaccine which is expected to be welcomed by health
authorities because it means more people can be protected as
quickly as the vaccine becomes available.

A recent study by researchers at CSL Ltd, a global vaccine
and plasma protein company with its headquarters in Australia,
showed that a single jab fo vaccine might be enough to produce
strong antibodies in the body to fight the disease.

The researchers report early results of an ongoing trial
that is evaluating a two-dose vaccine in healthy adults
between the ages of 18 and 64 at a single site in Australia.

The study was published in the latest issue of the New
England Journal of Medicine.

The findings suggest that one dose was enough to produce
an immunogenic response, with "mild to moderate" side effects.

They also reported that the vaccine appears to have side
effects similar to seasonal flu vaccines.

Katoch said if a vaccine is administered in two or three
doses like in a normal flu vaccine, then if it has any side
effects it would be clear after administering the first dose

But in a single shot vaccine which uses a adjoinder,
nothing can be done to tackle side effects, he said.

"We have written to all international companies
manufacturing the vaccine and asked them to conduct bridging
studies in India first. After that we would decide on
procuring them," he said.

The CSL study is based on measures taken 21 days after
the first of the two scheduled vaccine shots was given.

"Over 95 per cent of participants receiving the single 15
mcg dose of the vaccine achieved antibody levels that
correlate with the prevention of influenza infection," the CSL
announced in a statement.

Bureau Report