The chicken and egg problem of fighting another flu pandemic.

Even a peep of news about a new flu pandemic is enough to set scientists clucking about eggs.

They worried about them in 2005, and in 2009, and they’re worrying now. That’s because millions of fertilized hen eggs are still the main ingredient in making vaccines that, hopefully, will protect people against the outbreak of a new flu strain.

“It’s almost comical to be using a 1940s technology for a 21st-century pandemic,” said Rick Bright, who led the Health and Human Services Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) during the Trump administration.

It’s not so funny, he said, when the currently stockpiled formulation against the H5N1 bird flu virus requires two shots and a whopping 90 micrograms of antigen, yet provides just middling immunity. “For the U.S. alone, it would take hens laying 900,000 eggs every single day for nine months,” Bright said.\

And that’s only if the chickens don’t get infected.

Source: www.theoaklandpress.com


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