Two significant news stories have broken out in the vaccine development world this morning. The first remains to be validated but, if it is, may be cause for concern for many, especially the elderly or children who were given a flu vaccine last year. A CTV News story, and followups by other agencies, are reporting that scientists from three major biotechnology hubs in Canada have submitted a paper for publication that claims people who got a flu vaccine last year are twice as likely to get swine flu this year. While this sort of response to exposure has been observed for other viruses, experts in other countries, like the US and Great Britain, are perplexed by the claims, saying they haven't seen any sign of this in their studies. While the paper is undergoing peer review, the authors are not allowed to talk much about it, leaving everyone asking questions
In contrast, good news has come in the form of a breakthrough in AIDS vaccine development. The Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, has published an online report that, for the first time, a vaccine for HIV has been shown to protect over 30% of recipients. Over 16000 people were participants in a clinical trial for a Phase III study of the AIDS vaccine in Thailand, sponsored in part by the US Army Surgeon General. This story follows announcements earlier this month that researchers from the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) found two new antibodies that kill the HIV virus, making their target site (the antigen) on the virus a potential new candidate vaccine.