Scientists Funded by NIH Successfully Develop mRNA Bird Flu Vaccine to “Protect Against Human Infections”

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Scientists Funded by NIH Successfully Develop mRNA Bird Flu Vaccine to “Protect Against Human Infections”  H5N1

A team of federally funded researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has developed an experimental mRNA H5N1 bird flu vaccine that has shown promising results in preventing severe illness and death in infected lab animals.

The vaccine could potentially help manage the current outbreak of the H5N1 virus in birds and cattle in the United States, as well as prevent human infections.

The researchers published their findings in Nature Communications, reporting strong T cell and antibody responses in female mice and an immune response in male ferrets.

However, Dr. Robert Malone, an early pioneer of mRNA vaccine technology, criticized the news coverage of the study, calling it “investor hype” and “fear porn.” He argues that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of H5N1 and that the likelihood of people getting infected is very small. Malone also raised concerns about conflicts of interest among the lead researchers, who are co-inventors on patents for mRNA vaccine technologies and likely to receive royalty payments.

The University of Pennsylvania is described as a “pharma R&D” institution due to its focus on researching and developing pharmaceutical technologies.

The U.S. government is currently in talks with Pfizer and Moderna about developing an mRNA H5N1 bird flu vaccine to protect workers in the poultry and dairy industry. The government is considering vaccinating farm workers and others in close contact with the virus.

Earlier this month, O’Connell told NBC News that mRNA bird flu vaccine could be quicker to manufacture than a non-mRNA bird flu vaccine because “you can switch in and switch out the genetic sequencing very easily.”

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