China starts human trials of bird flu vaccine
Updated: 2005-12-21 19:15
China has begun human trials of its homegrown bird flu
vaccine with six volunteers receiving shots, the Xinhua news agency said on
A total of
120 people, aged from 18 to 60 and all from Beijing and in good health, had
volunteered to take part in the trials, Xinhua said.
A vaccine against bird flu from Beijing-based
pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech is seen in this undated
photo. China has begun human trials of its homegrown bird flu vaccine
with six volunteers receiving shots, the Xinhua news agency said on
"After half an hour of clinical observation, the volunteers experienced no
bad reaction of either the whole or part of the body," the agency said.
Though the trials will need nine months of tests, initial results are
expected within the first three, it added.
Xinhua provided no further details.
China has had more than 30 outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu
that scientists fear could mutate from a disease which largely affects birds to
one that can pass easily between people, leading to a human pandemic.
There have been 139 confirmed human cases of H5N1, all of them in Asia,
including six in China. Two people have died from bird flu in China, out of 71
known fatalities in Asia.
The head of the company researching the vaccine, Sinovac Biotech, told
Reuters last month that it was at least a year away from hitting the shelves.