Vaccines for the deadly H7N9 bird flu could be available to the market as soon as May, according to Xinhua.
The vaccine is now being submitted for testing with drug control authorities, Li Lanjuan, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said.
“If everything goes smoothly, we could have the vaccine on the market within one to two months,” Li was quoted as saying in the report.
Over 120 people in China have been infected with the H7N9 virus this year, according to official statistics, resulting in at least 36 deaths in 2014 so far.
The most recent victim was a 75-year-old man from the Panyu district of Guangzhou, who died on March 1.
Previously, we reported that researchers in Shanghai developed a gene vaccine for the virus that showed success in preliminary animal testing. At the beginning of February, the researchers were applying to launch clinical experiments for the vaccine and were further working to develop antibodies against the virus which could lead to a cure for people already infected.
Li said that poultry markets remain the primary source of infection, adding that closing the markets and culling poultry are still the most effective way to contain the virus.
In January, Shanghai announced the suspension of live poultry sales from January 31 to April 30.