By Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press
TORONTO - Influenza experts say making a vaccine to protect against
the new H7N9 flu virus that has emerged in eastern China could prove to
In an article published online in the New England Journal of
Medicine, experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control warn that
previous clinical trials with H7 vaccines suggest they induce a poor
response in people.
Another influenza expert, Michael Osterholm, says the earlier studies
show that even when people get 12 times the amount of vaccine they
would get for a seasonal flu virus, H7 vaccines don't trigger production
of many protective antibodies in healthy adults.
And he warns that if a vaccine doesn't work well in that group, it's likely to work even less well in older or sicker people.
"If you add all those (facts) together, it doesn't really paint a
really very optimistic picture about influenza vaccine being a really
significant weapon against this, should a pandemic emerge quickly,"