3 Nov 2009

Vaccination program on time?

Can the vaccination program against swine flu be on time? According to a recent study, it can be expected “an autumn/winter wave in the Northern hemisphere strikingly earlier than expected”. In Italy the peak time of the pandemic will occur from 17 October to 23 November. “The analysis shows the potential for an early epidemic peak occurring in October/November in the Northern hemisphere, likely before large-scale vaccination campaigns could be carried out” write the authors. The simulations refer to a worst-case scenario, with no antiviral drugs used.
This is quite worrying. “The vaccine has been expected for the beginning of November” has said pharmacologist Silvio Garattini, interviewed by Agi press agency. “The trouble is that the pandemic has reached Italy earlier than expected, and if it carries on like, that the vaccine could be useless, because protection develops after 15 days from the shot”. According to the expert, it's necessary that all the Italians in the high risk groups get the shot by the middle of November, but this goal is "almost impossible".
This is a grim forecast, but for once it looks like based on sound science.

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