Thursday, October 20, 2005

Has Hungary developed a Bird Flu vaccine effective against H5N1 in both birds and humans? Nothing in the UK press about this that I can see so far, but Le Monde and Le Figaro both have stories on it, as does Voice of America, in English but with few details. Seems a tad odd the British press haven't picked this up, after all the recent scare stories of the lack of vaccines and all...

Speedy translation of parts of the Figaro and Le Monde pieces:
"clinical trials (on 150 volunteers) proved to be effective, the blood of the human guinea-pigs having produced antibodies", announced the Hungarian Minister for Health, Jenö Racz, in Budapest. "We only have the preliminary results but I can say with 99.9 % certainty that the vaccine works."

The prototype was developed since the end September by the National Center of Epidemiology, starting from a stock of avian virus H5N1 which appeared in Hong Kong in 1997 and was isolated at the beginning of 2005 from a person in Southeast Asia by the World Health Organization.

"the cost of developing the vaccine (estimated at more than 4 million euros) will be covered partly by the general reserve of the national budget, by the budget of the Ministry for Health and by the receipts from the export of the vaccine", Mr. Racz said.

2 Comments:

Blogger MuppetLord said...

Well it is sort of mentioned here on the BBC News.

10/20/2005 03:35:00 pm  
Blogger bramble said...

It's here too. Sounds like the vaccine was developed against the current strain of H5N1. The worry is that the strain will change if it infects someone already infected with the "regular" flu virus. Should that happen, it will be another half a year before a new vaccine can be developed (unless it shares similar "antigenic" properties as H5N1).

All the same, good to hear that the Hungarian vaccine trial is going well. A similar American study died a quiet death.

10/20/2005 05:12:00 pm  

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