Bird Flu Vaccines 2023

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Last reviewed
May 28, 2023
Content Overview
Avian influenza (bird flu) virus vaccines are U.S. FDA approved in May 2023.

Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) Vaccines May 2023

The U.S. National Influenza Vaccine Modernization Strategy and the American Pandemic Preparedness Plan outlined the United States (U.S.) priorities in March 2022. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 17, 2023, an H5 candidate vaccine virus (CVV) produced by the CDC is similar to the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of recently detected H5N1 clade viruses in birds and mammals. This H5 CVV has been shared with vaccine manufacturers.

Previously, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized CSL Seqirus' Audenz™ monovalent cell-based vaccine on January 31, 2020. Recently, the FDA issued a Supplemental Approval (STN: 125692) in November 2021 for using Audenz in persons at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype. And the U.S. government purchased about 10,000 additional doses of RAPIVAB® in 2022. With the fulfillment of this new order, BioCryst will have delivered all 50,000 doses to HHS under the contract. Approved in 2014, RAPIVAB is for intravenous uncomplicated acute influenza in patients six months and older who have been symptomatic for no more than two days.

Moreover, the CDC confirmed as of May 2023, annual flu shots are unlikely to protect people during avian influenza (bird flu) HAPI pandemics.

Bird Flu Vaccine Candidates for Humans

The CDC says because flu viruses constantly change, new bird flu vaccines could be developed. Vaccine manufacturers GSK Plc, Moderna Inc., and CSL Seqirus informed Reuters on March 20, 2023, they are developing or about to test human vaccines that better match the circulating avian influenza subtype.

CSL Seqirus announced in 2022 that the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) selected the Massachusetts-based company to deliver an H5N8 A/Astrakhan3212/2020 (H5N8) virus vaccine candidate for assessment in a Phase 2 clinical study that is anticipated to begin in 2023. Under the $30.1 million agreement, BARDA is partnering with GSK and CSL Seqirus to manufacture investigational lots of H5N8 vaccines and clinically assess the safety, immunogenicity, and dose-sparing ability of adjuvants in combination with the manufactured vaccine candidates.

On October 5, 2022, CSL announced results from the preclinical studies of the company's self-amplifying messenger RNA (sa-mRNA) influenza vaccine candidates. The data, published in Molecular Therapy – Methods and Clinical Development, indicate that the sa-mRNA influenza vaccine candidates produced a potent, cross-reactive immune response against pandemic and seasonal influenza strains, A(H5N1) and A(H1N1) (Swine flu).

The U.S. government awarded California-based Vir Bio a multi-year contract on October 4, 2022, with the potential for up to $1 billion to advance the development of a complete portfolio of innovative solutions (vaccines) to address influenza and other infectious disease threats.

The European Commission (EC) signed a framework contract on July 28, 2022, for the joint procurement of GSK's Adjupanrix, a pandemic influenza vaccine. As a result, EC Member States can purchase up to 85 million vaccine doses, if necessary, during an influenza pandemic.

On September 15, 2009, four influenza vaccine manufacturers received approval from the FDA to use the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent influenza vaccine to prevent bird flu outbreaks caused by the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Influenza A Monoclonal Antibody For Humans

Vir Biotechnology, Inc. VIR-2482 is an intramuscularly administered investigational prophylactic monoclonal antibody that has demonstrated in vitro the ability to neutralize significant strains of influenza A that have arisen since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Japan Bird Flu Vaccines 2023

Japan Health Ministry announced in May 2023 it is changing its avian influenza vaccine stockpile from H7N9 to the H5N1 virus. Local media reported on May 25, 2023, Japan intends to stockpile 10 million vaccines for people. In 2018, Japan began culling infected chickens. In 2008, Japan began testing bird flu vaccine versions. And in 2003, after 79 years, a HAPI virus was detected in the dead chickens.

Avian Influenza Vaccines for Birds

The United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (APHIS) researchers confirmed on April 14, 2023, they are currently testing several vaccine candidates. On May 16, 2023, APHIS approved the emergency use of an HPAI vaccine in an attempt to prevent additional deaths of California Condors. The authorized vaccine is a killed, inactivated product conditionally licensed by APHIS’ Center for Veterinary Biologics in 2016. Since the vaccine has not previously been tested against this strain of the HAPI virus in these species, the first step is a pilot safety study in North American vultures, a similar species. This vaccine trial will be carried out with the surrogate vultures in North Carolina beginning in May 2023.

The DIVA strategy uses an inactivated oil emulsion vaccine containing the same haemagglutinin (H) subtype as the challenge virus but a different neuraminidase (N). The possibility of using the heterologous N subtype to differentiate between vaccinated and naturally infected birds was investigated by developing an "ad hoc" serological test to detect specific anti-N1 antibodies.

France Avian Influenza Vaccines

Reuters reported on May 26, 2023, France confirmed its intention to launch a bird flu vaccination program in late 2023. Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, called for all avenues to be explored to improve the fight against HPAI, foremost among which is vaccination on May 22, 2023. Temporary authorization for use has recently been submitted for vaccines for poultry being assessed by the French Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products (ANMV) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). On April 6, 2023, Reuters reported France launched a tender for 80 million doses of bird flu vaccines. To date, only one vaccine for chickens (Gallus gallus species) has marketing authorization in France (2006).

Bird Flu Medications

The U.S. CDC currently recommends antiviral medicines for people who contract bird flu. However, some evidence of antiviral resistance has been reported in HPAI Asian lineage avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses ("Asian H5N1 viruses") and Asian lineage avian influenza A(H7N9) viruses.

Bird Flu Tests

Bird flu virus infection is usually diagnosed by collecting a swab from the sick person's upper respiratory tract (nose or throat). However, testing is more accurate when the swab is collected during the first few days of illness. And the ECDC published on October 3, 2022: Testing for zoonotic influenza virus infections in humans.

Bird Flu Outbreak News 2023

Bird flu outbreak news for April 2023 is posted at

Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

Mammalian HAPI infection news is posted at this link.