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News

New vaccine for the next influenza pandemic

American Association For The Advancement Of Science (AAAS) : 23 December, 2004  (New Product)
For the first time in history, the virus subtype of a potential pandemic is known, H5N1, and a vaccine against it could be stored for immediate use if needed.
For the first time in history, the virus subtype of a potential pandemic is known, H5N1, and a vaccine against it could be stored for immediate use if needed.

The formulation of an efficient H5N1 pandemic vaccine, however, has not been established by clinical trials. Only 3 of the 10 companies that hold around 90 percent of the global vaccine production capacity are preparing small batches of an H5N1 pandemic vaccine for clinical trials.

The World Health Organization recommends creation of national and international stockpiles of H5N1 pandemic vaccine, according to Stöhr, who writes that political and economic hurdles, not insurmountable technical issues, have slowed progress of influenza pandemic vaccine development. Nonetheless, governments are attempting to stimulate the private sector's interest in pandemic vaccine development.

Stöhr outlines some of these actions and suggests next steps for both governments and influenza vaccine manufacturers.
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