Basic bird flu vaccine ready in India

17-07-2006 | |

The High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in India has developed a basic vaccine for avian flu, according to local news reports.

The vaccine was developed following the AI outbreaks earlier year in certain parts of western Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

A formal announcement about the vaccine is expected to be made shortly by the Union Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar.

The laboratory, which received more than 80,000 samples from all over the country, had isolated 48 samples positive for H5N1.

The vaccine, which still requires fine-tuning, was subsequently developed from these virus strains. Field trials have shown positive results so far.

The scientists are now trying to achieve 100 percent protection with an increased dosage as the lower dosage has been proved to give almost 90 percent protection.

The Agriculture Ministry of India has provided 80 million rupee (around US$1.8 million) last March for developing the vaccine.