Flu vaccine achieves positive results and offers pandemic hope

An influenza vaccine that could help to protect against a possible flu pandemic has achieved positive results in early trials, say UK researchers.

The vaccine known as ACAM-FLU-A, made by the biotechnology company Acambis, targets all strains of influenza A, the type responsible for a pandemic.

Preliminary results from phase one clinical trials involving 79 volunteers have shown that the vaccine is well tolerated and immunogenic.

In a parallel study, the researchers also tested whether the vaccine could offer protection against avian flu.

Using ferrets, which are commonly used in flu research because they are susceptible to human and bird flu, they found that 70 per cent of those that were vaccinated were protected against the H5N1 virus.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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