The U.S. scientists claimed Sunday the tests of new vaccine experienced on people are successful. They say the remedy will help to protect against an outbreak of potentially deadly avian flu.
US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci said the findings were a step forward but did not overcome the major hurdle of producing enough vaccine to meet demand in the event of a flu pandemic, according to Xinhua.
"It's an important landmark in the broader plan of how you prepare a nation for pandemic flu," Dr Fauci said.
And he cautioned: "We don't have all the vaccine we need to meet the possible demand. The critical issue now is, 'Can we make enough vaccine, given the well-known inability of the vaccine industry to make enough vaccine?'"
Preliminary data from the first 115 of the initial tests on 450 healthy adults showed an immune response that scientists believe is strong enough to protect against the avian influenza that's spreading among birds in Asia and Russia.
Fauci said he expects analysis of data from the other 300 tests will show similar results.
"We're now, given these results, going to move ahead with ordering from the company additional doses," he said.
"I can't tell you exactly how many; that's going to depend on the production capability, but certainly it will be significantly more than the two million doses."
For the past year, government health officials have been hurrying to develop the vaccine because of fears that the avian influenza strain could change into one that could spread rapidly among humans throughout the world, Daily Mail reminds.
While the strain has killed millions of birds, only about 50 humans have died from it and so far there has been no widespread transmission of the virus from one human to another.
Fauci said he thought the Food and Drug Administration could approve the new vaccine fairly quickly because it is similar to other seasonal flu vaccines the agency approves each year.