Wednesday, January 17, 2007

China, Indonesia, Vietnam Claim Bird Flu Vaccine Breakthroughs

Three reports from China's Peoples' Daily Online covering advances in the search for a vaccine that will protect the majority of people from the H5N1 strain of bird flu viruses.

Vaccine News From China :

A new recombinant H5N1 vaccine virus has been developed in China and is available for researchers and companies that want to develop or produce the H5N1 vaccine for human use, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Researchers found that a newly isolated virus collected from people infected with H5N1 in southern China was distinguishable in terms of antigen from the viruses that had previously been selected for vaccine development...

The World Health Organization (WHO) has put the new development on its Web site and said it's available for "institutions, companies and others interested in pandemic vaccine development."

Vaccine News From Indonesia :
An Indonesian official said that Indonesia is ready to develop a homegrown vaccine for the avian influenza virus, the English daily The Jakarta Post reported on Tuesday.

"The government would first improve the expertise of local scientists before they started working on the vaccine," Amin Soebandrio, chairman of the National Commission for Avian Influenza, was quoted as saying.

"Along with Vietnam, we have two types of antitoxin for producing the vaccine. So it is illogical to continue to import them..."

The Indonesia government has earlier agreed to purchase 91 million dosages of bird flu vaccine from China.

Vaccine news from Vietnam :

Vietnamese scientists have successfully decoded genes of bird flu virus strain H5N1, paving the way for production of vaccines used among humans, local media reported Monday.

The Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute has decoded genes of 24 samples of the viruses which killed fowls and people in Vietnam's southern region in the 2004-2005 period, said Youth newspaper.

The decoding shows that there have been some changes in the genes. Based on the decoding, the institute in southern Ho Chi Minh City is facilitating the production of H5N1 vaccines to be used among humans.

In November, Vietnam's Nha Trang Institute of Vaccines and Biological Products in central Khanh Hoa province announced it has successfully turned out 5,000 doses of H5N1 vaccine for humans in labs, which have yielded good results after being tested on white mice, guinea-pigs and cockerels. The institute will produce another 5,000 doses of the vaccine in early 2007 for tests at international verification centers.

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