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Tests Dash Hopes Of Rapid Production of Bird Flu Vaccine

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posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 11:27 AM
From New Scientist

The results of first large-scale trials of a low-dose vaccine against H5N1 bird flu have been announced – and they are unexpectedly disappointing. Scientists had hoped that very low doses of vaccine virus would make humans immune if injected along with an immune-stimulating chemical called an adjuvant.

Introducing a weakened version of a virus to induce imunity is the basic method of vaccination that I was taught about in school, and has, when administrerd in normal doses, unfortunately proved innefective in the case of H5N1.
In the tests, conducted by French comapny Sanofi Pasteur, 90mg of surface protein from the virus was needed to ward off disease, which according to the article is 6 times the amount needed to ward off a regular flu.

The implications are that greater doses of the vaccine are required to be administered to the recipient, in order to elicit an adequade amount of antibodies, and therefore ultimately a longer period to manufacture a given number of vaccines.
This is obviously bad news for hopes of fighting a pandemic, as a vaccine will innevitibly be too little, too late.

[edit on 19-12-2005 by Paul]

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