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Challenges in Making a Vaccine for H7N9 Influenza — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 13, 2013

Challenges in Making a Vaccine for H7N9 Influenza

By Kelly Young

U.S. researchers have pointed out some of the potential challenges in developing a vaccine if the H7N9 influenza reaches pandemic levels.

In a JAMA viewpoint, the researchers note that early studies indicate that an H7N9 vaccine would probably require more antigen than seasonal vaccines or would require an adjuvant. In a best-case scenario, it would take about 4 months from when vaccines were ordered to the start of distribution.

In addition, approval of an H7N9 vaccine would require a different regulatory process than the 2009 H1N1 vaccine because H7N9 is a novel human virus strain.

To date, about 130 people in China have been infected with H7N9 influenza. The WHO says there is currently no evidence of sustained transmission between humans.

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