Hungary bird flu vaccine effective - health minister
Updated: 2005-10-22 11:05
A Hungarian vaccine against the deadly bird flu has definitely proved to be
effective, final results from tests on humans showed, Hungary's health minister
Jeno Racz told local news agency MTI on Friday.
"Now it's definitely proved that the vaccine is effective (on humans)...
based on our data, the vaccine is 100 percent effective," Racz was quoted as
Hungary's government announced on Wednesday that initial human tests proved
promising on the vaccine, which is applicable for the deadly H5N1 form of the
The government also said that the United States, Britain and Russia had
expressed interest in the vaccine, while other countries interested in buying
the vaccine include Indonesia, Ukraine, the Philippines and Mongolia.
The vaccine was tested on around 100 volunteers including Hungary's health
minister in late September.
The H5N1 strain has killed more than 60 people in Asia over the past two
years and is now creeping into Europe and towards Africa. There are fears that
it could mutate and start being spread from person to person, potentially
setting off a human pandemic.
Hungary says it could eventually produce 500,000 vaccines a week, and that it
would require 3.5 million doses for its population of 10 million. It could later
raise production to tens of millions if needed for export.
The vaccine's development, carried out by Hungary's national epidemiology
centre and private company Omninvest, would have to be restarted if a virus
strain other than H5N1 were to infect humans.