China's got one too - it's called saline! But seriously, Vietnam has seemingly "pulled a Salk" on this one, and I don't doubt it. They are deadly serious about the bird flu and have the honorable title of being "the least affected Southeast Asian country." If the UN gave out "nice job" stickers, Vietnam's trapper-keeper would be covered in them. Here's the glowing report from the Thanh Nien Daily:
"The Nha Trang Institute of Vaccines and Biological Products in central Khanh Hoa province has announced that it has successfully produced 5,000 doses of a H5N1 vaccine for humans from chicken embryos.
"The vaccine gave similar results after being tested on white mice, guinea-pig and cockerels. The quality was tested against the World Health Organization (WHO)'s standards.
In the lab, the group of scientists injected two doses of vaccine into white mice, guinea-pig and cockerels with the second dose being given 20 days after the first dose.
Samples taken from the vaccinated animals 10 days after the second dose, showed that the vaccine produced the highest haemagglutinin (HA) antibody levels.
The tested animals had levels of between 40-320 hemagglutination inhibition units (HIU), accounting for an average level of 76.6-100 percent.
These vaccines have been sent to the National Institute of Verification of Vaccines and Biological Products.
Nguyen Thi Minh Hien, who is directly involved in the research, said the institute will produce another 5,000 doses of the vaccine in early 2007 for tests at international verification centers.
If successful, the institute will propose to test on human beings."
The only question is, by the time this is ready for launch, will it be effective against a human-to-human transmissible strain of H5N1?