NIH Begins Testing H7N9 Avian Influenza Vaccine Candidate

Source: NIH News


An investigational H7N9 avian influenza vaccine is being tested at nine sites throughout the United States in two concurrent Phase II clinical trials, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The trials aim to gather information about the vaccine’s safety and the immune response it generates when given in different doses and when used with or without adjuvants. Human cases of the H7N9 flu were first detected early this year in China, with 135 cases confirmed in humans as of August 12, with 44 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. No cases of the virus have been reported outside of China, but there is concern that the H7N9 virus could mutate and become a greater threat to public health. “H7N9 avian influenza virus—like all novel influenza virus strains to which people have not been exposed—has the potential to cause widespread sickness and mortality,” said NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. “We are now testing a vaccine candidate with and without adjuvant in an effort to prepare for and, hopefully, protect against this possibility.”

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