Bird flu trial vaccine begins in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG,(Itar-Tass) - A 56-day clinical trial of a candidate vaccine against the highly pathogenic bird flu virus H5N1 begins in St. Petersburg on Monday.

The chief of the health planning department of the Institute of Influenza, Yelena Doroshenko, told ITAR-TASS that 40 volunteers, mostly men of ages from 18, had been enrolled for the first-stage trial.

The vaccine has been obtained at the institute with an inverse genetic method from a Vietnamese strain of the H5N1 virus that was provided by a British national centre.

The second vaccine injection will be delivered to the volunteers in two weeks.

The study is expected to yield initial results of the vaccines potential effectiveness.

Each volunteer will be paid a 4,000-rouble bonus.

If the trial proves successful, the St. Petersburg vaccine will be a reserve of Russias chief sanitary physician for a case of an emergency, Doroshenko said.


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