A world-first trial of a swine flu vaccine on children has begun in Australia, with the results expected to be known within the next few weeks.
About 400 healthy children across the country will take part in the trial, with hopes the vaccine will be ready for distribution by October.
The testing began in Sydney on the same day two men suffering swine flu, both in their mid-50s, died, bringing the NSW toll from the disease to 32 , Stuff.co.nz reports.
The testing is taking place at multiple Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units across the country — the longstanding vaccine clinical trials infrastructure run by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. The first trials are testing healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 18 and 65.
If the first eight days of adult testing don't raise any safety concerns, researchers will begin testing the vaccine in healthy children ages 6 months to 18 years , NPR reports.
meanwhile, the biochemist and seasoned vaccine volunteer jumped at the chance to participate in the first human tests of the H1N1 vaccine. Just last month, he had his blood drawn at the medical center as a participant in its bird flu vaccine trial. While his drinking buddies think he's "a bit wacky" for offering up himself as a test subject, he insists that the benefits outweigh the risks and that everyone ought to be concerned about swine flu this fall , Baltimore Sun reports.