Bird flu vaccine is almost ready to go on the market
A spokesman of World Health Organization announced that scientists have finally created a possible effective flu vaccine.
Clinical tests have been carried out with a flu vaccine made by Sanofi Pasteur. The conclusions were that there are needed two shots of the vaccine, administered four weeks apart, to immunize at least 50% of human organisms.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony S. Fauci declared to be very enthusiastic about the new vaccine and its immunizing properties, also saying that he considers the tests to be a key step in the world's attempt to stop a possible global pandemic.
Currently the US government stockpiled only four million doses of the H5N1 vaccine, but this quantity is not enough to cover up all the people in case a pandemic starts.
A solution for stretching vaccine stores are administering along with the vaccine an immunity boosting substance (an adjuvant), and so, this will reduce the amount of the vaccine needed for immunizing the human body, and will improve the vaccine's effects.
Now, there are made clinical tests with adjuvant substances to see how the immune response to the vaccine is.
John Treanor, MD, director of the vaccine and treatment evaluation unit at the University of Rochester in New York, said that when it was discovered that it will be needed a higher dose of H5N1 vaccine to stimulate the wanted immunity, than a regular flu shot no one was taken by surprise, scientists suspecting this when first testing the vaccine.
The high-dose of bird flu vaccine stimulated a kind of antibody response that was known to have protected people in 1997 during an outbreak of H5N1 virus in Hong Kong.
Scientists do not know whether this vaccine will be effective in case of a human to human transmission of the virus and they are not willing to expose any study volunteers to potentially lethal bird flu.
In the process of developing much faster new bird flu vaccines, the US government is supporting the producers to move from growing vaccine virus in chicken eggs, to faster cell-culture techniques.
It is very important that producers accelerate the manufacture of new vaccines, because the H5N1 virus is fast mutating to more aggressive forms that might cause a human pandemic.
One good news is the governments are considering stockpiling H5N1 vaccine and that scientists are ready to create new improved vaccines in case of a development of the virus.
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