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Vietnam set to launch indigenous swine, avian flu vaccines

A person in lab coat in a vaccine development laboratory.
A person in lab coat in a vaccine development laboratory.

Indigenously produced vaccines for swine and avian flu have passed clinical trials and could be launched next year.
The two vaccines, IVACFLU-S and IVACFLY, have passed clinical trials and proved safe and effective on healthy adults, Le Van Be, head of the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), said Friday.

IVACFLU-S provides immunity against the Influenza B virus and the H1N1, H3N2 subtypes of the Influenza A virus, while IVACFLY provides immunity against the H5N1 subtype of the Influenza A virus.

The H1N1 and the H5N1 subtypes are more commonly known as the swine and avian flu, respectively.

The two vaccines have been in development since 2010 and underwent clinical trials starting last year. They are expected to be licensed and publicly launched next year, Be said.

Eight people in the country have died of swine flu this year. The latest was a 60-year-old male patient in HCMC, who died five days after he was admitted to the Cho Ray Hospital last month.

Pregnant women, infants and young children under two are among the groups identified by the World Health Organization as being at increased risk for complications arising from swine flu.

The H1N1 virus broke out worldwide in 2009 and was responsible for more than 17,000 deaths. Vietnam has recorded more than 11,000 human infections since then, but no swine flu casualties were reported in the country between 2015 and last year.

Meanwhile, the H5N1 strain has killed 65 people in Vietnam since it recurred in 2003, one of the highest fatality rates in the world. No human deaths were reported last year and so far this year, but outbreaks led to thousands of poultry being culled.