Bird flu vaccine could soon be on standby in case of future outbreak: experts – GLOBAL

March 20, 2023

Some of the world’s leading makers of flu vaccines say they could make hundreds of millions of bird flu shots for humans within months if a new strain of avian influenza ever jumps across the species divide.

One current outbreak of avian flu known as H5N1 clade has killed record numbers of birds and infected mammals. Human cases, however, remain very rare.

Last month, Health Canada said in an email to Global News that “human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) is rare” and poses a low risk for the general public who have limited contact with infected animals.

Executives at three vaccine manufacturers – GSK Plc GSK.L Moderna Inc MRNA.O and CSL Seqirus, owned by CSL Ltd CSL.AX – told Reuters they are already developing or about to test sample human vaccines that better match the circulating subtype, as a precautionary measure against a future pandemic.

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