Novartis says it's using both a traditional egg-based as well as a cell-based approach in developing a new vaccine for swine flu. And the pharma giant says it expects to launch a clinical trial of a new jab before the end of the month as it racks up huge orders from countries around the globe.
Novartis is one of five big manufacturers preparing swine flu vaccines for the U.S. market, a CDC official says. Dr. Pascale Wortley, the CDC's pandemic-vaccine coordinator, says that by October the U.S. expects to have between 40 million and 160 million doses of vaccine ready for use. And that could mean that children this fall may be expected to get a seasonal flu jab as well as a double dose of swine flu vaccine.
Right now no one in the U.S. government has laid out a clear plan for handling swine flu this fall. Vaccinations may initially be planned only for health care workers and other front-line emergency workers. Ultimately, some believe that the U.S. will order up to 600 million doses for the entire population to guard against a so-called second wave in the fall that could include a more lethal version of A/H1N1.