According to US researchers three experimental vaccines using live but weakened versions of the H5N1 bird flu virus seemed to offer protection against infection//, and could probably be the solution to to stockpile vaccines ahead of a pandemic.
They said tests on people were already underway, and this could lead to the start of a repository of vaccines against various potential strains of pandemic influenza.
The researchers wrote in the online journal Public Library of Science-Medicine, "We have been developing live, attenuated influenza virus vaccines because they have properties that make them attractive vaccines for the prevention of pandemic influenza in humans."
This vaccine takes only a single dose of a live, weakened vaccine to stimulate a good immune response according to researchers.
Another advantage that lay with such vaccines is the benefit of cross-protection, which meant that the vaccine protects against other, similar strains of the virus. This was useful especially because the current flu mutates a little every year, forcing vaccine makers to reformulate annually.
Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, "If an influenza pandemic were imminent or underway, we would need a vaccine that could stimulate immunity quickly, preferably with a single dose."
Health experts fear a mutation of the H5N1 avian flu virus that is now killing birds globally, into a form that easily infects people, sparking a pandemic that could kill millions.
Although H5N1 has infected only 244 people and killed 143, governments, companies and other organizations are racing to produce a vaccine.
So far the vaccines that have been developed use pieces of DNA from the viruses while some others use a virus that is completely inactivated, or killed. Since most seasonal flu vaccines use a killed virus there is little chances of cross-prPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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