Madrid: Spain will shortly begin the clinical trials for swine flu vaccine on 400 children ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years, Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez has said.
The Spanish Medications Agency will authorise the undertaking of the clinical trials - which will be done at its facilities - on the children, who have already been selected and who are participating in the trials voluntarily.
In addition, the monitoring committees have already been established to provide the necessary oversight for the trials.
Definitive results from the testing will not be available for another six months, meaning that the vaccine will not be able to be administered to the public prior to that time, the minister said.
In Spain, so far there have been 25 deaths from swine flu and between 120,000 and 150,000 estimated cases, of whom the "immense" majority of people have suffered only slight symptoms and have received conventional flu treatment.
Only 117 people have experience "serious" health situations resulting from the disease and have required hospitalisation.
The data, the minister said, lead one to believe that the epidemic has been a rather light one, with a mortality index that continues to remain very low, although as autumn approaches it is predicted that the contagion rate should rise.