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FDA Approves H5N1 Vaccine For Use In Epidemic

“The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] said Friday it has approved a vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc for use in the event of an H5N1 bird flu epidemic,” Al Jazeera America reports (11/24). “H5N1 made news around the globe last year when two groups of researchers published [papers] on mutations that could make the virus transmissible between ferrets, an oft-used model for the dynamics of human infections,” The Scientist notes, adding, “With an estimated 50 percent to 60 percent mortality rate in people, mutations that allowed the virus to pass from human to human could cause a massive epidemic” (Akst, 11/25).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.