The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine for persons over the age of 10. Several manufacturers are producing this vaccine as quickly as possible. However, demand has far outstripped initial supply, and questions arose as to who should be seeking vaccination from the H1N1 first.
The Center for Disease Control recommended that priority be given to pregant women, people who care for children under 6 months of age, medical personnel, children and young adults between 6 months and 24 years of age. Individuals between 25 and 64 years of age who might be at higher risk for contracting the H1N1 virus due to compromised immune systems or chronic health disorders, are also encouraged to seek out the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.
The main vaccine that has been approved for use by the FDA is an egg-based vaccine. For over 50 years, influenza vaccines have been produced using fertilized chicken eggs. By injecting the virus into developing embryos, vaccine manufacturers are able to harvest multiple copies of the virus, chemically de-activate the virus, and create the vaccine. Individuals who are allergic to eggs should talk with their doctor about the vaccine, and whether it is right for them.
Several drug manufacturers have announced that they will be preparing some batches of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine that are produced using a cell-culture process. Additional vaccines are currently being tested for use around the world, with various global drug agencies evaluating the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines.
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