Europe Greenlights Two Avian Flu Vaccines

The vaccines, Celldemic and Incellipan, protect against the H5N1 subtype of the influenza A virus. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has recommended the approval of two vaccines for active immunization against the H5N1 subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes avian influenza or bird flu. 

Celldemic is a zoonotic H5N1 influenza vaccine intended for active immunization of adults and infants from 6 months of age in the event of influenza outbreaks originating from animals, including situations where public health authorities foresee a potential pandemic.

Incellipan is a pandemic preparedness H5N1 vaccine and is intended for deployment solely upon the official declaration of a flu pandemic. After identifying the virus strain responsible, the manufacturer can incorporate it into the authorized vaccine. They then need to seek authorization for that vaccine as the "final" pandemic vaccine. The accelerated authorization process for the final pandemic vaccine is facilitated by the prior assessment of its quality, safety, and efficacy with other potential pandemic strains.

Most cases of avian influenza in humans have been due to transmission from birds. But there has also been transmission from other sources, such as a contaminated environment. Whereas some avian viruses do not cause disease in humans or are known to only cause mild disease, others, like the H5N1 subtype of the influenza A virus, are known to cause severe disease or even death

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