Experts question generic bird flu vaccine

Feb 14, 2006

A bird flu vaccine ordered by the British government in an effort to prevent a pandemic may be ineffective, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

British officials sought bids from pharmaceutical companies for a contract to manufacture as many as 3 million doses of a generic H5N1 vaccine. The winning bid is expected to be announced soon.

But writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists that studied the avian flu in China and Southeast Asia suggests generic vaccines may prove ineffective against a virus that has already had years to genetically diversify.

The team is led by Yi Guan of China's Shantou University and includes one of the world's foremost experts on avian flu genetics, Robert Webster of St Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, The Times said.

Writing in the journal, the team said, "The antigenic diversity of viruses currently circulating in Southeast Asia and southern China challenges the wisdom of reliance on a single human vaccine for pandemic preparedness."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: A two generation lens: Current state policies fail to support families with young children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New hadrosaur noses into spotlight

23 hours ago

Call it the Jimmy Durante of dinosaurs – a newly discovered hadrosaur with a truly distinctive nasal profile. The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State Univer ...

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

Sep 19, 2014

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0