Some May Need to Wait for Swine Flu Vaccine

But researchers say people may only need one dose

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    A dose of the experimental vaccine for the H1N1 flu virus is prepared at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

    When doctors meet to talk about swine flu, you know it's serious.

    Doctors from across North Texas did just that Thursday, discussing ways to prepare for the second round of the flu this fall.

    Top Docs Talk Swine Flu

    [DFW] Top Docs Talk Swine Flu
    Doctors discuss ways to prepare for the second round of the flu this fall.

    "H1N1 is starting to show signs that it's coming back. In fact, it really never left," said Dr. James Zoretic, the regional director for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

    Texas is expected to start receiving more than 1 million swine flu vaccines per week next month.

    "Right now, the vaccine companies are doing the testing and submitting their data to the federal government, and it still has to be sent to the Food and Drug Administration before it's approved," Zoretic said.

    But some people will still have to wait to get their shots until the most vulnerable are treated first.

    Doctors said washing your hands and coughing into your elbow are still the best ways to keep the flu from spreading.

    "We are in a pandemic," Zoretic said. "The issue is more how severe will this pandemic be within in the state."

    But at least people will only need to roll up their sleeve once to get protection against swine flu.

    Australian and U.S. researchers said Thursday that one shot appears to be strong enough to offer protection within 10 days of the shot.

    Australian shot maker CSL Ltd. published results of a study that found between 75 percent and 96 percent of vaccinated people should be protected with one dose -- the same degree of effectiveness as the regular winter flu shot.

    Scientists originally thought it would take two doses.

    U.S. data to be released Friday confirm those findings, and show the protection starts rapidly, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told The Associated Press.

    The dose question has an important ramification: It means people will have to line up for influenza vaccinations twice this year instead of three times -- once for the regular winter flu shot and a second time to be inoculated against swine flu, what doctors call the 2009 H1N1 strain.The winter flu vaccine is widely available now, and U.S. health authorities urged people Thursday to get it out of the way now before swine flu shots start arriving in mid-October.