Editor's note: This is the last in a seven-part series investigating the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The series puts promising advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing large amounts of an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time.
(CIDRAP News) – A second-generation smallpox vaccine made by the British biotechnology company Acambis plc and stockpiled by the US government as protection against bioterrorist attacks has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
(CIDRAP News) – US officials have announced the award of a $500 million contract to Bavarian Nordic A/S, a Danish firm, for 20 million doses of a smallpox vaccine that's expected to be safe for people with weakened immune systems.
(CIDRAP News) At the World Health Assembly meeting today in Geneva, global health officials agreed to postpone for 4 years a decision on when to destroy the world's remaining stores of smallpox virus.
(CIDRAP News) Bavarian Nordic, a Danish company, announced this week that the US government plans to buy 20 million doses of the company's Imvamune smallpox vaccine, but a US official said no decision has been made yet.
Imvamune is Bavarian's version of modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), which is considered safer than the conventional smallpox vaccine, particularly for people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and children.
(CIDRAP News) Poultry infected with H5N1 avian influenza pose the greatest risk of bringing the disease to the Americas, according to a new study by British and US researchers that challenges US efforts to detect flu in migratory birds.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed that a 15-year-old Indonesian boy who died May 30 had H5N1 avian influenza, but the agency said four nurses who had suspicious symptoms after caring for avian flu patients were not infected.
(CIDRAP News) – At the World Health Organization's (WHO's) recent annual meeting, member states couldn't agree on a new date for destroying the world's remaining collections of smallpox virus and handed the issue off to the WHO Executive Board.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) says H5N1 avian influenza has infected birds in 14 more countries since the beginning of this month, and recent genetic changes in the virus may have something to do with its rapid spread in birds.