Thailand begins trial on avian influenza nasal spray vaccine

Thailand recently became one of the first countries to test a needle-free nasal spray vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza.

The vaccine is the result of an international collaboration between health agencies from around the world, including the U.S. Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, according to

The phase I clinical trials mark the first step in testing the live attenuated influenza vaccine for safety and efficacy in humans.

"Influenza vaccines remain a critical component of public health preparedness worldwide," BARDA Director Dr. Robin Robinson said, reports. "By enhancing the capacity of developing countries to develop, manufacture and test their own influenza vaccines, we are improving pandemic preparedness globally."

Robinson called the clinical trial a milestone in the development of international efforts aimed at accelerating the development of local vaccines throughout the world.

BARDA is also in support of public-private partnerships with vaccine manufacturers within the United States in efforts to build a domestic influenza vaccine production capacity. The organization hopes to bolster new technologies to make the production of large quantities of vaccines a faster, more efficient process, reports.

On behalf of the Thai government, the World Health Organization was able to negotiate the rights to the license of the avian influenza vaccine from the Australia-based Biodiem, Ltd. Initially, the vaccine was developed by scientists at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg, Russia.