FDA Approves the First Dose-Stretching Vaccine For H5N1 Bird Flu

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To prepare for a potential pandemic of avian influenza caused by H5N1, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine boosted so its doses can provide stronger immune responses against the flu virus.

Most bird flu viruses do not harm people, but the H5N1 strain may be fatal in up to half of those infected. It likely originated in poultry, and does not transmit effectively from person to person, but if the virus mutates and becomes more infectious, it could spread easily among unprotected populations. In 2007, the FDA started stockpiling the first vaccine against H5N1, to prepare for a possible pandemic. The latest vaccine will be a second vaccine option, and could be helpful if inventory of the immunizations starts to run low, since this version can provide enhanced immunity with a smaller dose.

“This vaccine could be used in the event that the H5N1 avian influenza virus develops the capability to spread efficiently from human to human, resulting in the rapid spread of disease across the globe,” said Dr. Karen Midthun, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in a statement. “Vaccines are critical to protecting public health by helping to counter the transmission of influenza disease during a pandemic.”

The vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is not available for commercial sale or purchase. FDA reviewed studies involving 3,400 people who were vaccinated with the new shot, and compared their responses to another 1,100 who were inoculated with a placebo.

[FDA]

1 comments
drhill
drhill

We have been telling people in authority and governments now for nearly 6-years that the vaccine strategy to defeat bird flu and its transference to humans is sheer madness, as bird flu viruses are constantly mutating. Therefore the new so-called bird flu vaccine that was announced recently and stockpiled for the great and the good, is a useless exercise. In this respect the new H6N1 virus that has infected a Taiwanese's women  is just another example and this process will continue infinitum. You just cannot create a universal vaccine for bird flu and that is fact. Indeed the only way to stop this killer disease which Margaret Chan has said many times, is only a matter of time not when, is never to allow it to start in the first place. In this respect if we equate the numbers that died throughout the Spanish Flu of up to 100 million worldwide to the highly pathogen pandemic that will eventually emerge, it is estimated that between 500 million and 1 billion lives will be lost. Therefore we simply have to adopt the global strategy that the man who first discovered that the killer virus had jumped into humanity devised that worked and saved millions in Hong Kong in 1997 - http://www.thewif.org.uk/home/shortridge_thailand_2008.pdf

And to know the reasons why this strategy was suppressed by the giant pharmaceutical companies you should visit - http://foolscrow.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/return-to-nuremberg-big-pharma-must-answer-for-crimes-against-humanity/ 

Dr David Hill
Chief Executive
World Innovation Foundation