The H1N1 vaccine will arrive too late to help most Americans who will be infected during this flu season, according to a study conducted by scholars at Purdue University, The Washington Times reported on Tuesday.
The study also estimates that the virus — commonly referred to as the swine flu bug — will infect about 60 percent of the U.S. population, although only about 25 percent of Americans will fall ill.
Published Oct. 15 in Eurosurveillance, a scientific journal devoted to epidemiology and the surveillance and control of communicable diseases, the study was conducted by professors Sherry Towers and Zhilan Feng of, respectively, Purdue's statistics and mathematics departments.
"The model predicts that there will be a significant wave in autumn, with 63% of the population being infected, and that this wave will peak so early that the planned [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] vaccination campaign will likely not have a large effect on the total number of people ultimately infected by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus," the authors wrote in their study.
The authors said that this is the week, through Oct. 24, during which the greatest number of people would be infected. The vaccination program has barely started in the U.S.
"The model predicts that the peak wave of infection will occur near the end of October in week 42, with 8% of the population being infected during that week. By the end of 2009, the model predicts that a total of 63% of the population will have been infected," the authors wrote in a conclusion that ignored the effects of a CDC vaccination program.