It appears the US Government developed a H5N1 vaccine using a version of the vaccine made when the Avian Flu first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, said that although the vaccine that had undergone
preliminary tests it could be used on an emergency basis if a pandemic developed; it would still be several months before that vaccine was tested
further and, if licensed, offered to the public.
Government scientists say they have successfully tested in people a vaccine that they believe can protect against the strain of avian influenza that
is spreading in birds through Asia and Russia.
Health officials have been racing to develop a vaccine because they worry that if that strain mutated and combined with a human influenza virus to
create a new virus, it could spread rapidly through the world. (The vaccine cannot lead to such a situation because it is made from killed virus.)
Tens of millions of birds have died from infection with the virus and culling to prevent the spread of the virus. About 100 people have been infected,
and about 50 have died from this strain of the avian influenza virus, called A(H5N1). So far there has been no sustained human-to-human transmission,
but that is what health officials fear, because it could cause a pandemic. And that fear has driven the intense research to develop a vaccine.
"It's good news," Dr. Fauci said. "We have a vaccine."
But he cautioned: "We don't have all the vaccine we need to meet the possible demand. The critical issue now is, can we make enough vaccine, given
the well-known inability of the vaccine industry to make enough vaccine?"
An earlier human vaccine against the A(H5N1) avian influenza virus was prepared after it first appeared in the world, in Hong Kong in 1997. That
vaccine was never fully developed or used, and the strain has mutated since then.
In interviews over recent days, Dr. Fauci has said that tests so far had shown that the new vaccine produced a strong immune response among the small
group of healthy adults under age 65 who volunteered to receive it, although the doses needed were higher than in the standard influenza vaccine
offered each year. The vaccine, developed with genetic engineering techniques, is intended to protect against infection, not to treat those who are
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The United States is thought to be the only country that has produced a human vaccine against the A(H5N1) influenza strain. Australia, Canada, France
and Japan are among countries where scientists are trying to develop human avian influenza vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.
This is GREAT news and a heavy burden of fear lifted off my shoulders. I've been following the H5N1 influenza for quite some time and it's had me
I just hope they can get enough of this stuff produced if theres a pandemic!
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
H5N1 outbreaks reported in China
Possible Human-to-Human H5N1 transmission
NEWS: India, Europe, Australia: Bird Flu Headed your Way
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Henry L. Niman about Avian Flu
[edit on 8/6/2005 by QuietSoul]
[edit on 8-6-2005 by William One Sac]
[edit on 9-8-2005 by John bull 1]