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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

Swine Flu vaccine could take months to produce

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, 02 May, ( The World Health Organization says several laboratories around the world are developing a vaccination against swine influenza A-H1N1. The organization has raised its alert to level five, just below declaring the flu virus outbreak to be a pandemic.

The US Centers for Disease Control has already isolated a sample of the virus and has grown what's called a seed stock. A seed stock is a strain of the virus that's the first step toward growing a vaccine."

Though the researchers are working on it already, but the process of developing a vaccine could take three months, maybe more. Scientists begin by injecting live virus into fertilized chicken eggs, and then they wait.

The vaccine then has to be tested on animal models to make sure it's safe to go ahead into people and make sure it is live attenuated [disabled virus] and not have some capacity to cause disease. Further more the dosage is determined at human clinical trials.

The World Health Organization says several laboratories worldwide are working on a vaccine.

Experts say swine flu could slowly diminish now, only to re-emerge later this year. So scientists need to decide if that danger is great enough to include the new virus in the general flu vaccine this fall.

It is a delicate balance between speed and the risk of side-effects from the vaccine. Scientists are still haunted by the US massive vaccination program against a swine flu outbreak in 1976. Although a pandemic did not develop, about 30 people died of a neurological disorder thought to be linked to the vaccine.

- Asian Tribune -

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