Swine flu vaccine 'very close'

SCIENTISTS in the UK are “very close” to developing a vaccine for swine flu, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said today.

SCIENTISTS in the UK are “very close” to developing a vaccine for swine flu, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said today.

He added he hoped to make an announcement to Parliament about developments in a debate on swine flu on Thursday.

Last week it was revealed Health Protection Agency (HPA) scientists have worked out the genetic fingerprint of the virus, which will help understand how it operates and to identify the parts that can be used to manufacture a vaccine.

Mr Johnson told the Commons: “Efforts are going on in this country and abroad to ensure that we get a vaccine developed as quickly as possible.

“Of course, the time it will take to manufacture and produce it will be at least five to six months, but ... the first step has been taken, and we have actually identified the isolate.

“The next stage, to get the vaccine from that, I think is very close.”