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Singapore releases trial of new bird flu vaccine

Published on 22 November, 2006, Last updated at 10:28 GMT


Singapore pharmaceutical giant Baxter Healthcare on Wednesday released the preliminary findings for a clinical trial of a new bird flu vaccine.

According to a Channel NewsAsia report, the results indicate that the vaccine Baxter developed can be used on different strains of the H5N1 virus, such as the Hong Kong strain, the Vietnam strain and the Indonesian strain.

The trial was conducted on healthy adults in Austria and Singapore. Side effects from the vaccine are also minor, such as fatigue, headaches and a slight fever, according to the report.

The vaccine is also unique because it can be produced using cell-base system in stead of egg-base system.

Traditionally, vaccines are produced by growing a virus in hen's eggs, a procedure which would be greatly affected by the onset of an avian flu pandemic.

The new technology allows the vaccine to be produced in a shorter time with no dependence on eggs.

Baxter said they will conduct further tests before they actively market the vaccine to governments.

To date, the bird flu virus has never been detected in Singapore.


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