The National Institutes of Health will supervise a nationwide test of a swine flu vaccine in eight cities starting in August, the Seattle Times reports. Test subjects will be drawn from Seattle, Baltimore, Iowa City, St. Louis, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston, and Nashville. Thousands will receive “a vaccine you can't otherwise get,” one official says. President Obama has spoken of a national rollout in October.
The accelerated pace of the vaccine is unusual, but scientists say it is possible because the new medicine is similar to that used for more common flu strains. The test will begin with healthy subjects over 18; if successful, it will move to an at-risk group, children aged 6 months to 17. One of the goals is to determine the minimum effective dosage so vaccine stocks can be used more efficiently worldwide.