National Report -- Food-animal veterinarians may want to get in line early to receive one of the vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fight H1N1, since authorities say they think the virus could hit swine herds soon.
The FDA noted that the vaccines will be distributed nationally after initial lots become available in about four weeks.
The vaccines are being manufactured by CSL Ltd., MedImmune LLC, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd. and Sanofi Pasteur Inc. All are being made using the same process and appear to induce a “robust immune response in most healthy adults eight to 10 days after a single dose,” according the FDA’s preliminary data. People with life-threatening allergies to chicken eggs should not get the vaccine, and formulations are being produced with and without thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative. Otherwise, the FDA says, the vaccines have been “well-tolerated,” with the only reported side effects being similar to those of seasonal flu vaccines.
The FDA announcement comes just days after U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the possibility that H1N1 will appear in U.S. swine herds by fall. A vaccine against H1N1 for swine is currently in development and could be available by the end of the year, according to USDA.