SOCIETY

Made-in-Vietnam H5N1 vaccine to be available in 4 months

Tuoitrenews

Updated : 04/18/2013 16:00 GMT + 7

After a long time of researching and testing, a state-owned Vietnamese pharmaceutical company will launch a specific vaccine against the H5N1 avian flu virus on the market in four months at the soonest, the Health Ministry said.

Over the past eight years, the Company for Production of Vaccines and Biologicals No. 1, under the ministry’s Central Epidemiology Institute, has studied and tested the vaccine.

They first tested it on animals and later on volunteers with good results.

A recent test has recently been conducted on 1,000 volunteers who received two shots of the vaccine within 28 days, and the test results showed that the vaccine is effective and safe for use on humans.

On April 17, experts from the ministry had a meeting with vaccine researchers to review preparations for the production of the vaccine.

After the meeting, the ministry announced that the vaccine will be available on the market in four months at the soonest.

The domestic production of the vaccine is in response to the country’s aim at reducing reliance on foreign vaccines and at improving readiness to combat diseases.

As previously reported, more than 5,000 swallows raised by two breeding centers in Phan Rang-Thap Cham City in Ninh Thuan Province had died for unknown causes since late March, and all the samples of dead birds taken from these centers were tested positive with H5N1.

Therefore, the ministry on Wednesday recommended the provincial People’s Committee declare a H5N1 avian flu epidemic on swallows, but the local authorities have yet to do so.

In other developments, authorities in many localities in Vietnam, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have taken precautionary measures to cope with a possible spread of the new avian flu virus strain H7N9 from China.

By yesterday, 82 H7N9 cases have been reported in China, including 17 that have ended in death, according to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission.

So far, there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission, according to the World Health Organization.