Swine flu vaccines

September 25, 2009
The first five million swine flu vaccine dosages will be available to Australians next week but children under 10 will have to wait until at least October.

Experiments are underway at the Melbourne based manufacturer CSL to ensure the vaccine is safe in children.

The paediatric vaccine is supposed to be available sometime in October, after trials are completed and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association.
Swine Flu Vaccine
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, who toured CSL's laboratories on Thursday, urged Australians to contact their GPs from September 30 to access the vaccine.

'We are urging all Australians particularly who are aged 10 and over to consider being vaccinated,' she told reporters.

'We expect to get 21 million doses of the vaccine provided by January next year,' she said.

The $100 million program to develop a swine flu vaccine in Australia has produced a vaccine which its maker says will have a 95 per cent success rate in adults.

Ms Roxon said the government's contractual arrangement with CSL had prioritised supplying Australia.

Although the vaccine comes at the end of the winter flu season in Australia, chief medical officer Jim Bishop said it would protect against the flu spreading from the northern hemisphere.

'The amount of doses that we have will be sufficient to protect the population against future waves of this virus,' he told reporters.

He said the northern hemisphere was now entering winter and there were already signs of increased infections in the United States and Europe.

'We'd expect that to seed back into this country,' he said.

Ms Roxon said people with asthma, diabetes, cancer, pregnant women and parents or carers of infants should consider accessing the vaccine from next week.

To date, 177 Australians and about 3,500 people worldwide with swine flu have died.