Pre-priming cuts response time to bird flu jab

There's more evidence that pre-priming a population with avian flu jabs would help countries mount a rapid response to any outbreak in the future. A group of British researchers tested the approach on a group of patients who had been vaccinated in a study mounted between 1999 and 2001. They found that after the group was given a new avian flu vaccination, 80 percent of them demonstrated an immune response after just one week. Currently, most bird flu vaccinations require two jabs four weeks apart followed by another two weeks of waiting before a significant immune response is recorded. By cutting the response time down to a week, the researchers say that countries would be able to stop the virus from wiping out a large segment of the population.

"If a bird flu pandemic erupted tomorrow it isn't clear we would have six weeks to vaccinate people before it arrived in this country, even if the vaccine was stockpiled," Dr. Iain Stephenson. "We have been able to prove in this study that you can vaccinate people six, seven or eight years ago and still get a very rapid response with a booster shot within a week

- read the story in the Telegraph