Friday, July 28, 2006

Bird Flu Vaccine Update

A vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza virus may be available for mass production by 2007.
GlaxoSmithKline has made progress in this race by adding an additive to the vaccine that will help increase the immune system's response to a low amount of the antigen. The antigen is the active ingredient in a vaccine, and its production is a slow process. A challenge in developing the vaccine has not only been to create an active vaccine, but also to be able to supply the large number of people who may require it in a short period of time. This method maximizes production of the vaccine from a minimum amount of the antigen.

The GSK vaccine with two doses of 3.8 micrograms of the antigen was tested in 400 healthy adult volunteers in Belgium. A good immune response was seen in 80% of the subjects which meets the regulatory requirments. By contrast Sanofi-Aventis' vaccine had a 40% response rate with 15 mcg.

The cost of the vaccine is predicted to be about $7.00 per shot. According to the company, "The vaccine overall was tolerated well, and no serious adverse effects were reported."
It is too early to comment on its ability to protect against any mutation in the virus.

References: Science Daily . Center for Infectious Disease and Policy. Herald Tribune.


balakumar said...

Vooow :), that's really a great news!!... but why they take such a long time for the mass production ??? .... hope they would be tested 100 % safe.

Balakumar Muthu

Paul Dulaney said...

Dr Razavi,
I wanted to leave a general question if I might, and this is the only way I could think to do it. My question is this. A man I work with takes a Japanese algae supplement (something like spirella?) which supposedly is full of great nutrition. However, it has the downside for us men of being very high in iron. But my friend contends that the body has a feedback mechanism in the gut that allows it to absorb just as much as it needs and no more. This doesn't make sense to me because if it were true there wouldn't be those warnings to men about taking too much iron. What do you say?

Paul Dulaney
Los Angeles

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...


The problem is in the technique. The virus is grown in chicken egg embroys, millions of them, before it can be made usable for vaccinination. This takes time. All flu vaccines are made this way. The H5N1 bird flu has the additional problem of being deadly to chicken embryos so the eggs have to be specially treated before they can be used.

Haleh said...

Dear Taraneh, I came to know your blog via my blogger friend ( I like your blog very much and will be a regular reader from now on. Take care and keep up the good work.

Dr. Taraneh Razavi said...

I can say in general that iron is poorly absorbed in the gut.
It would have to be taken in fairly large doses before it could get to a level that is considered too high in a healthy person who does not have any problems with iron metabolism.
Spirulina's nutritional claims are not supported on the Bekeley Wellness Letter:
There is also concern about possiblity of contaminants in the algae.

Paul Dulaney said...

Thanks for your prompt response! That helps.


balakumar said...

now i understood the reason :)

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texmex said...

As a general comment for your blog, I would recommend reading the web site

Concerning vaccine in general, when did you take your last vaccine shot?

pregnancy said...

The period during which a developing fetus is carried within the uterus. In humans, pregnancy
averages 266 days (38 weeks) from conception to childbirth. Traditionally, pregnancy duration
is counted from the woman's last menstrual period, which adds roughly 2 weeks to gestational
age. This is how physicians arrive at a pregnancy length of 40 weeks (280 days).

The Internet Marketing Student said...

Indonesia has been testing human
bird flu vaccine developed under a partnership agreement with Baxter.

They are infact ready to deploy it in event of cluster outbrek

Anonymous said...

There is no real bird-flu vaccine. It's a placebo!


seyma said...

Thank you this information

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