Volunteers wanted to test new bird flu vaccine
3 May 2006, MADRID — Five hospitals in Spain are looking for 1,500 volunteers to test a new vaccine against the human form of bird flu, called H5N1.
3 May 2006
MADRID — Five hospitals in Spain are looking for 1,500 volunteers to test a new vaccine against the human form of bird flu, called H5N1.
The international tests hope to find a vaccine which would at least reduce the mortality level if a pandemic broke out.
In Barcelona, the hospitals Valle de Hebrón and Clínico and in Madrid the 12 de Octubre, Clínico San Carlos and La Princesa hospitals are taking part in the tests.
A total of 5,052 volunteers are being sought in Spain, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Russia, France and Estonia.
The tests are expected to be finished by the start of 2007.
Despite attempts to calm fears of a pandemic, the medical teams involved have stressed the urgency to develop strategies to combat a possible pandemic.
Antoni Trilla, director of medicine at Hospital Clinico, said avian flu was an "urgent threat" and the vaccine would be the "best prevention possible".
Adult volunteers are to be tested for possible side effects of the vaccine which is being developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The volunteers, who are to be paid just expenses, are to receive selected doses of the vaccine and then are to be monitored afterwards for 21 days.
They will then have two more hospital visits and be kept in contact with the hospitals.
If there are any problems, volunteers are to be given emergency medical attention.
The vaccine has been developed along World Health Organisation guidelines and doctors said it was practically impossible volunteers to develop avian flu.
If a pandemic broke out then there are not enough production facilities to cover the European population of about 450 million.
Eight companies are working to try to find a vaccine.
So far no confirmed cases of human avian flu have been reported in Europe.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news