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US speeds up preventive vaccine program against swine flu virus H1N1

Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 20:05 This news item was posted in Pharma category and has 0 Comments so far.


A vaccine to prevent H1N1 virus, which is considered to be causing swine flu, will be tried in humans very soon.

For the development of the vaccine against swine flu, reference strains for the H1N1 virus were already distributed in US.

A prospective preventive vaccine for swine flu is likely to be tested may be tested in people within a couple of months, announced Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A pre- planned development process to develop a vaccine against swine flu is under way. The National Institutes of Health of US plans to perform clinical tests to determine the vaccine dose.

A vaccine to prevent swine flu causing strain of H1N1 virus has become a necessity as the number of swine flu cases in US climbed to 91 across 10 states, according to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

So every step is taken to speed up the preventive vaccine discovery.

However, sceptics say that even with accelerated development,  a vaccine to prevent sine flu won’t be available for quite some time. And even if it become available  it won’t be in huge numbers as per the requirement.

Several of the vaccines currently developed against the seasonal flu are not effective against swine flu.

Vaccine majors including Sanofi-Aventis and Baxter International are ready to test some candidate vaccines provided they are given samples of the swine flu virus strain. 

Baxter International Inc’s vero-cell technology can produce flu vaccine in about half the time required by traditional egg-based manufacturing, which takes about 24 weeks, the company claimed.

If these companies can develop a vaccine against swine flu quickly, they will be able to make greater benefits.

The WHO is also working with partners to prepare for a preventive swine-flu vaccine, and would help produce such a vaccine if the outbreak becomes a pandemic.

The flu virus mutates fast and can become virulent by exchanging genes with related influenza viruses. The fear of swine flu spreading rapidly is based on the premise that the flu virus has the ability to transmit from humans to humans because a number of the cases who got infection have had no direct exposure to swine.

Symptoms of  swine flu

The symptoms of  swine flu is similar to that  to those of regular human influenza. It includes fever, lethargy and cough, and may also cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Origin of swine flu

Swine flu was first detected in Mexico where it has claimed 150 lives so far. Caused by influenza Type A virus, it has since spread to parts of the US, Canada and Europe, and West Asia.

Swine flu prevention and drug development in India

The ministry of health and family welfare under the Union government has decided to contact all the flu drug suppliers in India – including Roche, Cipla, Ranbaxy, Hetero and Natco – to check the status and availability of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to prevent and treat swine-flu.

Malaysia claims to have preventive vaccine against swine flu H1N1 virus

Malaysian government has said today that the country is ready to face the swine flu threat, and claims to have a vaccine to prevent the swine flu from spreading across the country.

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