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February 16, 2006

Vaccine for H5N1 may be useless

A story in the Times Online reports that Vaccine for bird flu may be useless, say experts.

A vaccine ordered by the Government as a defence against avian flu may not prove effective, the latest scientific findings suggest. The Government has ordered two to three million doses of a generic H5N1 vaccine and is shortly to announce which company among those who tendered has been awarded the contract. But a team who studied the diversity of avian flu in China and South-East Asia has suggested that such generic vaccines may prove ineffective against a virus that has already had years to generate genetic diversity.

The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that the virus has been spreading in an uncontrolled fashion in China for the past decade, has crossed into Vietnam on three occasions and may be spread by "carrier%" poultry that show no symptoms. Such is the diversity of the viruses now circulating in China and South-East Asia that attempts to produce a generic H5N1 vaccine may be fruitless, the team suggests.

of the article is here.

Posted by dymaxion at February 16, 2006 02:45 PM

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