Bird Flu Vaccine Conditionally Approved, but Still Canít Be Sold


A vaccine to help protect the nationís chickens from avian influenza after more than 48 million birds died during an outbreak this year has cleared a first hurdle, with the Agriculture Department granting its maker a ďconditionalĒ license.

Harrisvaccines announced on Monday that the department had granted the license, a type issued to deal with emergencies, market limitations or other special circumstances, for a vaccine that can be easily updated as new strains of the virus appear.

But the company does not yet have government approval to sell the drug.

ďU.S.D.A. has said no vaccine is to be used for highly pathenogenic avian influenza,Ē said Joel Harris, vice president for sales and marketing at Harrisvaccines, which was founded by his father, Dr. Hank Harris. ďWhat this license does is that if they allow a vaccine to be used, we would immediately have a U.S.D.A.-licensed product available for producers.Ē