Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Swine Flu Vaccines Get FDA Nod

First Swine Flu Vaccines to Arrive Within Weeks
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 15, 2009 - The FDA has approved four swine flu vaccines, which will make up 96% of the 195 million doses the U.S. has purchased.

Vaccinations will start by mid-October. Some early lots of vaccine may arrive even earlier.

"This vaccine will help protect individuals from serious illness and death from influenza," FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, says in a news release.

The vaccines are made by CSL Ltd., Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd., Sanofi Pasteur Inc., and MedImmune LLC. The MedImmune vaccine is the swine flu version of FluMist, which is a nasal spray. The other three vaccines are traditional flu shots.

FDA approval was expected, as the vaccines are made the same way as seasonal flu vaccines. The FDA has previously said it considers the swine flu vaccine merely a strain change from the seasonal flu vaccine, avoiding the lengthy approval process that new vaccines must go through.

GlaxoSmithKline has also been expected to provide some vaccine to the U.S. It's not yet clear why that vaccine was not included in today's announcement, but GlaxoSmithKline was scheduled to provide less than 4% of this year's U.S. swine flu vaccine supply.

Novartis is expected to supply nearly half of the U.S. supply, with Sanofi and CSL providing much of the rest. However, MedImmune has said that it has been able to make more vaccine than had been anticipated.

Who's First for Swine Flu Vaccine?

About half the U.S. population is among those recommended to receive the vaccine:

  • Everyone ages 6 months to 24 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who lives with or cares for infants under 6 months of age
  • Health care and emergency response personnel
  • People ages 25 to 64 who have health conditions that increase their risk of severe flu complications

Eventually there will be plenty of swine flu vaccine. But supplies will be limited in the first weeks, so some areas may give the first shots to a smaller group of people:

  • All kids ages 6 months to 4 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who lives with or cares for infants under 6 months of age
  • Health care workers and emergency workers with direct patient contact
  • Kids ages 5 through 18 with chronic medical conditions

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat