The British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline says it could have a bird flu vaccine ready for mass production as early as next year.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the company reported a breakthrough in recent trials of the vaccine, which it says is effective against the deadly H5N1 strain. GlaxoSmithKline said it could be ready to submit the vaccine to regulators by the end of this year.
The company said the key to its vaccine is the low concentration of active ingredient. This would allow the vaccine to be produced on a mass scale, allowing governments to stock up on the vaccine to be used in the event of a pandemic.
Several other companies are working to develop bird flu vaccines.
In the latest bird flu outbreak, health officials in Thailand reported Wednesday that a teenage boy who died earlier this week was infected with the deadly H5N1 variety of the disease.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.