Vietnam may begin producing
H5N1 vaccines for humans
next year

Nguyen Tran Hien: www.ianphi.org
Nguyen Tran Hien: www.ianphi.org

Vietnam may begin producing bird flu vaccines for humans next year, according to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology's director Nguyen Tran Hien.

The institute, which started researching development of the vaccine in 2005, is now producing an experimental version of the vaccine and testing its safety and effectiveness.

"These tests will facilitate the production and use of the vaccine for humans," Hien said.

The institute plans to carry out clinical trials of the vaccine at the end of this year, said Hien, adding that their research results would then be submitted to Ministry of Health.

The institute's statistics showed that between 2007 and 2010, there were 5 to 7 people contracting bird flu each year in Vietnam. The cases were reported in provinces across the country, and most people had become infected after being in contact or eating poultry during the end of winter and beginning of spring. However, there is still no concrete proof that the disease can be transmitted from human to human.

Bird flu has re-emerged in ten provinces across the country, including Thanh Hoa, Quang Tri, Soc Trang and Ha Nam. Concerns have grown over bird flu recently as the virus is mutating into a new form that will require the development of a new vaccine.

Hien warned that unless proper preventive measures are taken, more people may catch bird flu.

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