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Hesitations over Hungary?s H5N1 vaccine

Scientists say data are too preliminary to determine whether or not the vaccine actually works

Clementine Wallace
Scientists say it is unlikely that the developed world will soon benefit from Hungary?s recent decision to commercialize the first H5N1 vaccine for humans, which has already captured the interest of some countries. While the World Health Organization calls the early data ?encouraging,? researchers describe them as too limited -- and preliminary -- to determine whether or not the vaccine works.?It?s very hard to assess when you don?t have more information,? William Schaffner from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in Nashville, TN, told The Scientist. ?A lot is missing from the data -- they still seem to be at very early stages.?The vaccine was initially developed in September 2005 by Hungary?s National Center of Epidemiology, now collaborating with local company Omninvest to produce 500,000 doses a week. According to Klaus Stohr, who coordinates the WHO global influenza program, Hungary presented ?encouraging? preliminary findings during a WHO...

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