Saturday, October 26, 2013

China Announces Development Of H7N9 Vaccine

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# 7905

 

The Chinese press is filled this morning with reports on the development of an H7N9 vaccine, although details on clinical trials are noticeably absent.

 

Chinese researchers develop H7N9 flu vaccine


English.news.cn 2013-10-26 21:00:46

HANGZHOU, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers announced Saturday they had successfully developed the vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu virus, after the flu strain had left more than 130 people infected, with 45 fatalities reported.

Shu Yuelong, director of the Chinese National Influenza Center, said this is the first influenza vaccine ever developed by Chinese scientists.

The vaccine has provided important technical support to battle the new flu strain, making contribution to the H7N9 flu virus epidemic control all over the world, said Shu, also director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza.

The vaccine was jointly developed by the First Affiliated Hospital under the School of Medicine of the Zhejiang University, Hong Kong University, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Food and Drug Control, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

China reported the world's first human case for H7N9 bird flu infection in March. As of Friday, a total of 136 people were confirmed to have been infected with the virus, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Of the infected, 45 died, representing a fatality rate of 33.1 percent.

 

 

Issues such as the correct amount of antigen per shot, the timing or need for a booster shot, the incidence and severity of side effects, and even the need for an adjuvant are usually sorted out during several rounds of clinical (human) testing, something that can take months or longer.

 

Based on this report, it isn’t entirely clear to me exactly what the status of these trials is.

 

I do note, that in another report (see China successfully developed the first vaccine strain H7N9 avian influenza virus), specific mention is made on the successful completion of ferret testing. .

 

Recently, the virus vaccine seed strains ferrets have passed safety evaluation experiments and test all the relevant technical requirements. The vaccine strains of the technical indicators are in line with the requirements of strains of influenza virus vaccine, available giving the H7N9 avian influenza virus infection vaccine manufacturers, to declare.

 

Animal testing is standard procedure before human clinical trials.  So, your guess is as good as mine as to when this vaccine might be available in any quantity for use in the event of an outbreak.

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