ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

First H1N1 Flu Vaccine Available from Iowa

by 5m Editor
7 December 2009, at 11:47pm

US - An Iowa State researcher is reported to be producing and marketing the only H1N1 flu vaccine available for pigs.

The only swine vaccine available for the H1N1 virus has been sent to vaccinate a swine herd infected with the virus. The vaccination marks the first time vaccine has been sent to a swine herd diagnosed with the pandemic flu.

Professor Hank Harris, professor of animal science at Iowa State University has developed the vaccine this summer and has been shipping preventive doses to swine producers in Iowa, Kansas and Illinois for several weeks.

The latest vaccines were shipped to a swine producer in Indiana that had H1N1 diagnosed in the herd.

Professor Harris said: "This is the first time we've had a confirmed diagnosis and the farmer wanted to vaccinate. We shipped about 20,000 with about another 11,000 doses to go out to them later."

Vaccinating a herd that has already been infected should have some effect on the spread but Professor Harris is unsure how much.

The vaccinations have recently been reviewed and published by the online journal, PLoS Current Influenza.

"It isn't uncommon for vaccinations to be used in what we call 'the face of an outbreak,'" he said. "They (producers) may think the virus is spreading slowly in the herd, and they want to vaccinate the entire herd."

Professor Harris thinks the Indiana vaccinations may indicate swine producers around the country are eager to vaccinate.

"Since these pigs got sick and had a confirmed diagnosis, I think more farmers are going to want to vaccinate," he said.

The vaccine is being manufactured through Iowa State University and the Professor's start-up company, Harrisvaccines, Inc., d/b/a SirrahBios, Inc.

Professor Harris says that the virus may have entered the Indiana swine herd from humans who had flu-like symptoms while working with the pigs.

"It's one of those things we'll probably never know for sure. The history is that the virus can go from people to pigs and from pigs to people just as easily," he said.

Professor Harris stresses that there is no threat of humans getting the H1N1 virus from eating pork from pigs that had the virus.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on influenza in pigs by clicking here.