Would you volunteer for a vaccine trial?

CNN reports that the St. Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development has received more than 500 responses from potential volunteers since Wednesday, when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced human trials for a swine flu vaccine would begin in early August.

“In an effort to deliver the vaccine to those who will need it most by October, the clinical trials will enroll as many as 1,000 adults and children, according to officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the NIH, which will lead the effort.

After careful screening, volunteers will be inoculated and asked to keep a diary on how they feel. After eight days their blood will be checked. After 21 days they will receive another dose, followed again by diary logs and blood tests.  Patients will be monitored two months for safety issues, followed by a four-month and six-month checkup.

“Swine flu could sicken one in five people this fall”…and officials are worried “that the number of serious health complications and deaths as a result of the H1N1 virus could soar.

“Models predict the 2009 H1N1 flu will peak in October, with many cases being diagnosed in September, according to Dr. Robert Belshe, director of Saint Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development.

“We’ll be in the midst of it before we know it,” Belshe said.

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