Eleven Drugs Companies Offer Help to Find Bird Flu Vaccine
Agence France Presse;
Although not yet a human or animal pandemic, the avian influenza is sweeping through Asia, and 11 drug companies are offering to develop a bird flu vaccine for humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) will recommend normal flu vaccines for all individuals exposed to the bird flu virus during a pandemic as a means of reducing the transfer of human germs, though such a vaccine would offer no protection against the bird flu. Drug companies will likely need up to six months to produce a bird flu vaccine, and during that time the virus could spread worldwide, warns WHO global influenza program head Klaus Stohr. Stohr admits obstacles in the development of a bird flu vaccine, but he believes such a vaccine is vital to controlling the spread of the illness.