This article explains how the bird flu vaccines is made. It also explains why the bird flu virus is taking a long time to develop.
With the current development of a vaccine for the H5N1 strain of the Bird Flu Virus still 2 to 3 years away. We don’t have much of a choice but to really be very cautious that the H5N1 strain does not mutate with a human flu virus.
If the outbreak we fear does happen without the vaccines ready yet, all we can possibly do is just quarantine the geographical area where the virus is rampant. Give them the vaccines that have been developed and prevent them from spreading it further. This will only work if the outbreak is limited geographically. When the outbreak does happen to 10,000 places, we’re in Big S*%T.
The development of a vaccine is so slow because we still use methods dating back 50 years ago. Ironically this is because they still use chicken eggs to develop the vaccines. New methods are on the horizon, instead of using chicken eggs, they may be able to use mammal cells.
Scientist would be storing the mammal cells in large numbers. So that when a flu strain or threat develops, they can just inject it to the cells. The injected cells will then burst and die. The scientist will then harvest the proteins of the influenza and distribute them as vaccines already.
Vaccines made from DNA are really appealing because they could be made and administered quickly. However this kind of vaccine is still being tested on humans. DNA vaccine works by attaching itself to a segment of our DNA. It contains the coded information of the flu virus’ protein.
Now you would want to ask why we would vaccinate everyone instead of just treating them. This is because giving vaccines is cheaper compared to treating everyone. With a vaccine the person only needs one or two doses in total. Compared to giving two doses a day for a period of time to treat the viral problem. It is also pretty stupid to wait for someone to suffer before treating the person. The person might not even live to see the day just to receive the medication.
The current stand of some people however is that why waste precious money on a threat that may never materialize. The best answer here is it’s better to be prepared than be sorry.
In the last 87 years we have had three pandemics. So it’s better to prepare for something that could be really catastrophic. The longer our world goes without a pandemic; there is more chance that it could occur in the upcoming years.
That’s why we should be very thankful for every company out there trying to create a vaccine for a pandemic that might hit us. Rather than be worried of money that might get wasted.