Intervet received EU approval for its H7 avian flu vaccine this month under the accelerated registration procedure.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) highlighted that the current concerns about avian flu mainly focused on H5 strains, but the danger posed by H7 strains should not be ignored.

Paul van Aarle, Intervet’s director of institutional sales, said: “It is necessary to be prepared for potential outbreaks caused by the H7 virus.  Fortunately the CVMP took the same position and reviewed the Nobilis Influenza H7N1 vaccine under the accelerated registration procedure.  This is an excellent example of how industry and regulators can take their joint responsibility towards society.”   

Similar to H5N1, birds with the H7 avian flu virus can infect humans, as has been demonstrated in the Netherlands in 2003.  The outbreaks resulted in 30 million birds being culled in the Netherlands, and 13 million birds in Italy.