Results from a pilot study of a swine flu vaccine revealed a “strong immune response” after just one dose, British researchers said today.
Scientists from the University of Leicester said they tested 100 healthy volunteers with a cell-based drug to see how their immune system responded.
Trial leader Dr Iain Stephenson found 80% of the volunteers showed a “strong, potentially protective” response after one dose, with more than 90% showing the same response after two doses.
He said: “The results suggest that one vaccine dose may be sufficient to protect against A(H1N1) swine flu, rather than two.
“The aim of the trial was to find out how many doses and what type of vaccine is needed to give protection.
“These initial results should help to plan vaccination campaigns in the autumn, including doses and timings.”
Larger trials are now under way around the world involving up to more than 6,000 adults and children.
The Government plans to vaccinate large swathes of the population following the swine flu outbreak.
It is currently expected the first vaccinations of people in at-risk groups - such as those with asthma and diabetes – are expected to take place in October after the vaccine receives its licence.
Dr Stephenson, from Leicester University’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, said of his study: “Results showed that the serum antibody responses were highest among subjects who received two doses of vaccine, however a single vaccine dose also induced responses associated with protection against influenza.”
Its volunteers were aged between 18 and 50, and was carried out at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The number of deaths linked to swine flu in the UK currently stands at 66.