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Swine Flu Vaccine Runs Into Problems

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Novartis Says Swine Flu Virus Gives Poor Harvest for Vaccine

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG said the virus it’s growing to make a vaccine against pandemic flu doesn’t yield much of the antigen needed to protect people.

Lab workers are harvesting one dose or less of the component they need from each egg in which the virus is grown, said Eric Althoff, a spokesman for the Swiss drugmaker. That’s between a third and half of the typical yield for a seasonal flu vaccine, he said.


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If they make it seem rare more people will want it.

Oh yes.

And the implication for the evolving epidemic is that swine flu has a lot of catching up to do with seasonal flu regarding speed of replication. Any mutations that stabilise the haemagglutanin protein of swine flu (which will not be difficult to achieve thro' recombination and reassortment) will increase the viability of its progeny, and hence its virulence.

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