Current H5N1 Vaccine
Development and Production
Currently, there has been a vaccine developed in the United States against the avian flu strain causing disease in Asia and Europe.
The vaccine is similar to vaccines for regular flu. Like regular flu vaccine, it contains deactivated flu viruses, modified to not be able cause disease, using genetic engineering. The vaccine works by letting the immune system respond and create antibodies (therefore, creating immunity) to the virus, without the virus fighting back (so no disease is caused).
Also like regular flu vaccine, the viruses used in the vaccine are also grown using chicken eggs.
Contracts to produce the vaccine in the United States have been made to the companies Sanofi Pasteur and Chiron.
The vaccine has been undergoing clinical trials by the NIAID. Preliminary data has been shown good results (two doses of 90 micrograms had the highest immune response), but the final results will be released June 2006.