Varicella Vaccine Candidate Receives Clinical Trial Green Light

On October 26 2015, Sinovac Dalian, a subsidiary of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. received the approval to conduct human clinical trials (Phase I) using their vaccine candidate from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).
More about the stages of the clinical trials can be found here:
WHO Clinical Trial Report
  The candidate in question is a live attentuated virus derived from a human cell line, which the company expects to be commercialised by 2019. Sinovac hopes to be able to release a  MMRV combination vaccine in the future and has began its preparations by setting up its commercial vaccine production plant which will be able to produce up to 5 million vaccine doses annually.

  This is especially important as some less developed areas in China may not have access to these vaccines and thus the people there may not have been immunised. Infants and the elderly are especially susceptible due to their weakened immune systems, and in the rural areas the people may not be able to afford to see medical help as they simply do not have the money to pay antiviral drugs like aciclovir for their conditions. Mass produced vaccines would be more affordable and can help prevent outbreaks.

The following is an excerpt from the CDC Pinkbook about Varicella, on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases:
“In the prevaccine era, approximately 11,000 persons with varicella required hospitalization each year. Hospitalization rates were approximately 2 to 3 per 1,000 cases among healthy children and 8 per 1,000 cases among adults. Death occurred in approximately 1 in 60,000 cases. From 1990 through 1996, an average of 103 deaths from varicella were reported each year. Most deaths occur in immunocompetent children and adults. Since 1996, hospitalizations and deaths from varicella have declined more than 70% and 88% respectively.”

  This is why vaccination is so important–it reduces the morbidity and mortality rate of diseases that can be prevented.

References:
Clinical Trial Stages Picture:
Information on Clinical Trial stages:
CDC Pinkbook:
Immunisation Picture:
  1. On October 26 2015, Sinovac Dalian, a subsidiary of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. received the approval to conduct human clinical trials (Phase I) using their vaccine candidate from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).

    More about the stages of the clinical trials can be found here:
    WHO Clinical Trial Report
      The candidate in question is a live attentuated virus derived from a human cell line, which the company expects to be commercialised by 2019. Sinovac hopes to be able to release a  MMRV combination vaccine in the future and has began its preparations by setting up its commercial vaccine production plant which will be able to produce up to 5 million vaccine doses annually.

      This is especially important as some less developed areas in China may not have access to these vaccines and thus the people there may not have been immunised. Infants and the elderly are especially susceptible due to their weakened immune systems, and in the rural areas the people may not be able to afford to see medical help as they simply do not have the money to pay antiviral drugs like aciclovir for their conditions. Mass produced vaccines would be more affordable and can help prevent outbreaks.

      The following is an excerpt from the CDC Pinkbook about Varicella, on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases:
    “In the prevaccine era, approximately 11,000 persons with varicella required hospitalization each year. Hospitalization rates were approximately 2 to 3 per 1,000 cases among healthy children and 8 per 1,000 cases among adults. Death occurred in approximately 1 in 60,000 cases. From 1990 through 1996, an average of 103 deaths from varicella were reported each year. Most deaths occur in immunocompetent children and adults. Since 1996, hospitalizations and deaths from varicella have declined more than 70% and 88% respectively.”
                                         

      This is why vaccination is so important–it reduces the morbidity and mortality rate of diseases that can be prevented.

    References:
    Clinical Trial Stages Picture:
    Information on Clinical Trial stages:
    CDC Pinkbook:
    Immunisation Picture:

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  2. NOV
    24

    What is Chicken Pox?

      Chicken Pox, also known as Varicella is a virulent disease caused by the Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV).
    A Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM ) of the VZV.
        VZV is a Group I (dsDNA) that only infects humans. It replicates in the nasopharynx and nearby lymph nodes becoming viremic, spreading to the other organs and the sensory nerve ganglia (where it becomes latent) before spreading to the skin, resulting in its characteristic red rash. Varicella is a primary infection that can cause opportunistic infections like bacterial pneumonia for immunocompromised individuals like infants and patients with HIV, Psoriasis and Lupus. Futhermore, VZV can be reactivated later in life when the immune system is weak, leading to shingles (Herpes-Zoster) and subsequently, postherpetic neuralgia and other neurological conditions.

    Transmission:

    Chicken pox is an airborne disease and infection can occur via:
    • Aerosolized particles of the virus (Eg: droplets from someone infected that is coughing/sneezing)
    • Direct contact with an infected person, be it Varicella or Shingles
    • Coming into contact with an object that an infected person has interacted with, like a doorknob
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