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Defying the expectations of experts, clinical trials are showing that the new H1N1 swine flu vaccine protects with only one dose instead of two, so the vaccine supplies now being made will go twice as far as had been predicted.
That means it should be possible to vaccinate — well before the flu’s expected midwinter peak — all the 159 million people that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate are in the high-risk groups: pregnant women, people under 24 years old or caring for infants, people with high-risk medical conditions and health-care workers.
more vaccine could be available to poor countries that were largely left out of last spring’s global scramble to sign vaccine makers to contracts. Experts have worried that rich countries would be protected this winter while poor ones — where people are more likely to die because of drug shortages and substandard hospital care — would bear the brunt of the pandemic.