"The selection of a new pandemic vaccine candidate by the United States is not a surprise. When initial results of the first candidate vaccine was announced, it was clear that H5N1 was evolving away from that target, which was a 2004 isolate from Vietnam. The Qinghai version of H5N1 was spreading rapidly in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, and further spread was anticipated.
However, an Indonesian strain has been selected as the next target. It is unlikely that a vaccine against an Indonesian isolate would offer significant protection for the Qinghai H5N1 strain of bird flu.
However, the specific examples an not publicly known. No human sequences from Indonesia have been made public. Similarly, no human isolates from China, Turkey, or Iran have been released to the public.. H5N1 is clearly evolving rapidly, suggesting several pandemic vaccines will be required because of the increasing number of genetically diverse strains that are causing fatal human infections."
So why is the US going with a vaccine that most likely won't work as well as other candidates? Is America bungling it, or are they getting a cherry deal from Indonesia? I sure hope they are wrong on the multiple vaccine front, as several vaccines would be even more of a logistic nightmare in the face of a pandemic than just one - which we still don't have the means to deliver to everyone who would need it.
It seems like the US and the rest of the world is just going through the motions...
Sunday, March 12, 2006