Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vietnam begins testing the H5N1 vaccine on humans next month

"HA NOI — Human tests of a Vietnamese-produced H5N1 virus vaccine will begin at the Military Medical Institute next month. Vaccine and Bio-Technology Products Company Number 1 (VABIOTECH) director Nguyen Thu Van confirmed the tests to Viet Nam News yesterday.
The eight-month-long tests would be done with about 270 healthy volunteers aged between 18-45, he said.

The purpose of the tests was to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine; its safety and dosage.
The vaccine had been developed by VABIOTECH – a subsidiary of the National Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute – from the kidney cells of monkeys using the latest bio-technology available in Viet Nam.

The Health Ministry and the State Science and Technology Council agreed in principle to tests of the made-in-Viet Nam H5N1 vaccine on humans earlier this month. The approval followed the successful testing of the vaccine on animals. VABIOTECH started development of a H5N1 vaccine in mid 2004 when avian flu was spreading throughout Viet Nam.

The Nha Trang Vaccine and Bio-medical Institute reports that it is also completing its research of an influenza type A/H5N1 vaccine for humans. The institute had developed its vaccine on eggs with embryos and produced nine batches, or 10,000 doses, that met the verification standards of the on-the-spot laboratory, said its director, Le Van Hiep. Half the doses had been sent to the National Vaccine and Bio-medical Verification Institute for testing."

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