Russia launches clinical trials for H5N1 vaccines

Russian scientists on Tuesday began clinical trial of the country's first vaccines intended to protect humans against the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, researchers and officials said. The trial involving 120 adult volunteers testing two types of vaccine will end by mid-August, said Anatoly Zverev, the head of the Mechnikov Vaccine and Serum Institute. Anton Katlinsky, head of the Federal Research and Development Company Microgene, said three clinical trial on animals had given reason to "express cautious optimism that the vaccine would prove to be efficient."