Human testing of the swine flu vaccine has shown that there are no dangerous side effects, health officials announced yesterday.
The vaccine has been tested on adults within the past few weeks and the greatest side effect, thus far, has been soreness of the arm at the injection site, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Since adults experienced no harmful side effects, children six months to 17 years old have begun clinical trials as well.
Pregnant women, the group at the highest risk for contracting the virus, have yet to undergo the clinical trials, but are slated to begin in September, Fauci said.
While the vaccine is currently being tested for its safety, studies on how well it prevents against the virus are scheduled to begin next month, Fauci said.
Overall, 4,500 people are to undergo clinical trials of the vaccine, Fauci said.
The fact that the vaccine has not produced any negative side effects is reassuring, yet there are many specifics that remain unknown.
How many people will be affected? Will there be enough vaccine to go around? When exactly will the vaccine it be available?
Questions like these will most likely remain unanswered until the flu season arrives.