A/H1N1 flu virus is not highly pathogenic: Experts

The swine flu virus is not highly pathogenic on the basis of its characteristics and mortality rate, experts have pointed out.

“The molecular-biological characteristics of the virus and the clinical forms of the disease and the mortality rate do not typify the new virus as highly pathogenic,” experts from Russian Health and Social development Ministry’s commission for flu vaccines and diagnostic strains said.

“Nevertheless, we continue to work on the vaccine, and the work is about to end,” head of World Health Organisation (WHO) National Flu Center Oleg Kiselyov said.

The commission has also suggested for additional research of biological materials and experimental series of the vaccine before starting the clinical tests expected to begin by early September on volunteers.

Around 150 volunteers are expected to take part in the project.

“Most of them are young men, from 18 years up, selected by their health status,” a source at the Flu Institute said.

“The massive production of the vaccine will start in November, before the seasonal increase of the regular cold and flu rate in the country. The first Russians will be inoculated against the new flu on October 1,” Kiselyov said.

Russia will produce 40 million doses of A/H1N1 flu vaccine by the end of this year, Chief Public Health Official Gennady Onishchenko said.

The new vaccine will be manufactured in Ufa, Irkutsk and St Petersburg, Onishchenko said, adding 22 million doses of the new vaccine will be produced next year.

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