Flu Cdc Trials

A rigorous, systematic process is followed whenever a new product or drug is discovered. Clinical trials are used to test the efficacy and safety of medical products, such as therapeutic drugs, cancer treatments, and vaccines. Long phases of development, including animal trials, are performed to make sure that no serious side effects occur. But are experimental vaccines safe? How does the CDC ensure vaccine safety, even to trial participants?

You can choose to participate in clinical trials—you may even be asked by your doctor to take part in them. Clinical trials are usually performed on healthy adults with no significant medical problems. Other clinical trials may have specific prerequisite conditions and criteria. A screening process is usually employed to gather all of the necessary background information. Some clinical trials offer monetary compensation; others simply offer the opportunity to alleviate or even cure your specific disease or syndrome.

Swine Flu Clinical Trials

The swine flu emerged on the world scene in the spring of 2009. Health officials feared that it could turn out to be a highly virulent strain of influenza. Vaccines remain the primary method of containing an infection.

Every autumn, many people get the seasonal flu shot. However, the seasonal flu shot is not effective against the swine flu.

The US government accelerated the development of the swine flu vaccine so that pharmaceutical companies would have time to create enough seasonal and swine flu vaccines for high-risk groups. Over the summer, clinical trials were conducted to observe any side effects.

Typical side effects include:

  • Aches
  • Fever
  • Sore arms.

Rare, though serious, side effects include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Hives.

Overall, the findings point to a safe vaccine, and CDC regulations have prioritized the use of the vaccine in high-risk groups, such as those working in the health field, pregnant women, and people with underlying chronic medical conditions.

Currently, there is a shortage of swine flu vaccines. However, as we continue further into the flu season, more flu vaccines are becoming available. Check with your local health clinic for more information.

Swine Flu Anti-viral Medications

Anti-viral medications are available to treat swine flu. Although initially designed to combat seasonal influenza A viruses, oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) has been noted to reduce the severity and length of swine flu infection.

However, some researchers say that the clinical trial data is incomplete. The actual benefit of oseltamivir is small, they say, with the side effects becoming a greater risk. Check with your doctor to see if there are clinical trials for anti-viral medications in your area.

Current Status of Swine Flu Vaccine Safety

As of December 2009, the CDC has declared the swine flu vaccine to be safe with no serious adverse effects. The number and severity of side effects reported have been the same as the statistics for the regular seasonal flu shot.

For the most part, medical treatments are tailored to a patient’s needs and health status. If you have questions about a particular drug or clinical trial, then talk with a health professional.

Resources

Maugh, T. (2009). British medical journal questions efficacy of Tamiflu for swine flu. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from the Los Angeles Times Web site: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/12/british-medical-journal-questions-efficacy-of-tamiflu-for-swine-flu-or-any-flu.html.

McNeil, D. (2009). Clinical trials for flu vaccine are to begin soon. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from the New York Times Web site: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/health/23vaccine.html.

Mitchell, D. (2009). H1N1 vaccine clinical trials in adults free of serious adverse events. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from the American Academy of Family Physicians Web site: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/publications/news/news-now/clinical-care-research/20090826h1n1vacc-trials.html.