Vietnam to test avian flu vaccine

Hanoi: Vietnam, which recently faced a nationwide outbreak of the avian flu virus, has been working on a drug since 2005 to prevent the disease and plans to start clinical trials later this year, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said the government`s priority was to stop the spread of the epidemic, protect people`s health and reduce poultry losses.

Avian flu has killed two people in the country this year.

Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, has revealed the beginning of production of vaccines to prevent infection among humans.

The institution is currently testing the effectiveness of an advanced experimental version and plans to start clinical trials later this year 2012. It will then send the results to the ministry of public health.

Officials say the trend in the last few years shows that the disease is acquired in late winter or early spring.