Researcher develops world's first swine flu vaccine

Researcher develops world's first swine flu vaccine

A local veterinary research team said yesterday it succeeded in developing a human vaccine against Influenza A(H1N1), commonly known as swine flu.

The vaccine, developed by researchers from the college of veterinary medicine at Chungnam National University, is expected to help contain the spread of the disease. Swine flu has claimed lives of more than 70 people worldwide.

The team, led by professor Seo Sang-heui, said it developed the vaccine that is "not toxic and can be mass-produced" on Friday, 11 days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supplied the virus sample.

The CDC has provided the standard virus sample to researchers in many countries, including the United States Britain, Japan, Australia and Germany. Seo's team developed the human vaccine for the first time in the world.

The vaccine is expected to be available in the market sometime in September after basic clinical safety-related tests are completed, the team said.

The research team has named the virus strain CNUK-RG A/CA/4xPR/8 (H1N1) after the initials of the team's university.

"This vaccine appears to be the first developed in the world. We have contacted the CDC and found that there is no human vaccine yet developed in the United States," Seo said.

"Our team is willing to offer the vaccine free of charge without conditions to research institutions and pharmaceutical firms around the world should they make a request for the sake of the health of humankind."

The research team notified the CDC of its success and the CDC called it a "very crucial development," Seo added.

He also said that if the vaccine is mass produced within four months to inoculate all of the citizens in the country, the damage from Influenza A could be reduced to be similar to that of an ordinary influenza. The price for one vaccine shot is expected to be 6,000 won ($4.76), he added.

By Song Sang-ho

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