The antibodies in the H5N1 vaccine reported in the March 30, 2006, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, were found to be ineffective, requiring six-fold strength doses, twice administered, before even a slight effect was observed. In addition, there is the poor performance of the antibodies produced in the vaccine against H7 sub types noted in the above study.
Instead, it might be better to pay attention to the importance of monitoring the genetic reassortant of avian influenza that results from the next migration of wild fowl from the Korean Peninsula to Zhejiang Province in China, and from there to the Taiwan coast.
Mayo Kuo is a Taiwan-based pediatrician; his brother, Max Kuo, is a US-based pediatrician.
Translated by Paul Cooper