Bird flu vaccine approved as interim measure
The US government has approved
the first vaccine against avian flu, which could be used for 6.5 million
The approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) means that the vaccine,
made by Sanofi Pasteur, a division of French company Sanofi-Aventis, is no longer considered experimental and
could be dispensed during a pandemic without recipient's filling in a consent
The vaccine, approved for adults
from the age of 18 - 64, will not be available for sale to the general public,
but will only be dispensed by the government in the event of a pandemic under
The vaccine, however, is expected
to protect only about 45% of people who receive it. Also, two injections are
required 28 days apart, which could slow the response during a fast-moving flu
outbreak. Moreover, it also requires high doses, which limits the number of
injections that could be produced in a short time.
Norman Baylor, head of the
vaccine office at the Food and Drug Administration, conceded the new vaccine was
an â€œinterim measureâ€ until better products could be developed.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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