July eyed for flu vaccine

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DEERFIELD, Ill. – Specialty drug maker Baxter International Inc. says it’s in “full scale” production of a swine flu vaccine that will be commercially available in July.

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Specialty drug maker Baxter International Inc. says it’s in “full scale” production of a swine flu vaccine that will be commercially available in July.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company made the announcement Friday, a day after the World Health Organization declared swine flu a global pandemic.

Baxter in late April said it had asked the WHO for a flu strain sample. The company has said that its patented technology cuts in half the usual time it takes to develop a vaccine – to about 13 weeks instead of 26. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports 1,975 confirmed cases of swine flu in the state and five deaths due to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 45 swine flu deaths nationwide.

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