The CDC and the Swine Flu Pandemic, Part 285

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It’s that time, again, to start putting the flu season on everyone’s radar map. The CDC has announced a new vaccine for a new swine flu.

“This virus is still principally a swine virus, but it doesn’t seem to have onward spread. It’s still not a human virus,” Dr. Joseph Bresee, from the CDC’s influenza division, stressed during a noon press conference Friday.

“Even so, a H3N2 candidate vaccine has been prepared and clinical trials are being planned for this year,” he said.

The H3N2 strain has been found in a whopping 29 humans in two years. Time to panic and declare pandemic. Sanofi Pasteur and Novartis are producing the vaccines for the clinical trials by the National Institutes of Health. Here’s a quote from an article on the website of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota:

Gretchen Michael, a spokeswoman with the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR), told CIDRAP News that HHS has asked manufacturers to produce enough H3N2v vaccine to launch clinical trials. She said the request to have clinical lots ready is part of its pandemic preparedness program, a strategy that has also been used for other viruses that could have pandemic potential, such as H5N1 and H9N2.

7:29 pm on August 6, 2012