Tuesday, April 17

First Bird Flu Vaccine Approved By FDA

Sanofi Aventis SA has created the first bird flu vaccine approved by the FDA. The vaccine will only be used if there is an outbreak in the U.S.

(AP/MSNBC) The Sanofi Aventis SA vaccine already is being stockpiled for use in an outbreak of bird flu. It will not be commercially available. Approval came on the recommendation of FDA advisers, who in February said the vaccine would be better than nothing.

“The threat of an influenza pandemic is, at present, one of the most significant public health issues our nation and world faces,” FDA commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach said. “The approval of this vaccine is an important step forward in our protection against a pandemic.”

The government plans to buy and stockpile enough bird flu vaccine for 20 million people, including emergency and health-care workers. It also could be given to military personnel before they are deployed abroad.
Obviously this is not the miracle vaccine people are looking for, but it is a positive step because finally "something" is available in case of an emergency. Whether this will be more effective then water, duct tape and plastic is yet to be seen.