The Australian Government will begin immunising citizens against the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) influenza pandemic following the approval of the country’s first vaccine.

The immunisation programme will begin following the health authorities’ approval of the use of CSL Biotherapies’ vaccine against the influenza pandemic in people aged ten years or older.

The vaccine received approval from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration after clinical trial results demonstrated that a single standard 15mcg dose produced a strong immune response against swine flu in over 95% of healthy adults.

The vaccine also showed a strong safety profile, with the reported side effects the same as those experienced with the seasonal flu vaccine.

The most commonly reported side effects were injection site tenderness, headache and injection site pain.