Bird Flu Vaccines: What is Taking So Long?
With the current development of a vaccine for the H5N1 strain of the Bird Flu Virus still 2 to 3 years away. We don’t have much of a choice but to really be very cautious that the H5N1 strain does not mutate with a human flu virus.
If the outbreak we fear does happen without the vaccines ready yet, all we can possibly do is just quarantine the geographical area where the virus is rampant. Give them the vaccines that have been developed and prevent them from spreading it further. This will only work if the outbreak is limited geographically. When the outbreak does happen to 10,000 places, we’re in Big S*%T.
The development of a vaccine is so slow because we still use methods dating back 50 years ago. Ironically this is because they still use chicken eggs to develop the vaccines. New methods are on the horizon, instead of using chicken eggs, they may be able to use mammal cells.
Scientist would be storing the mammal cells in large numbers. So that when a flu strain or threat develops, they can just inject it to the cells. The injected cells will then burst and die. The scientist will then harvest the proteins of the influenza and distribute them as vaccines already.
Vaccines made from DNA are really appealing because they could be made and administered quickly. However this kind of vaccine is still being tested on humans. DNA vaccine works by attaching itself to a segment of our DNA. It contains the coded information of the flu virus protein.