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    RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS DEVELOP NEW SMALLPOX VACCINE

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 1. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russian scientists from the Novosibirsk-based scientific centre Vektor have developed a new modified version of the anti-smallpox vaccine, said Sergei Netesov, deputy director of the Vektor Centre of Virology and Biotechnology.

    "The centre has, so far, produced a laboratory version of the vaccine on the basis of the smallpox virus cell culture", he specified. The new vaccine version can protect man simultaneously from smallpox and hepatitis B, Netesov said. "Russia is already protected from smallpox: in case of an epidemic it has a sufficient reserve of the anti-smallpox vaccine. But, sometimes it causes unhealthy reactions up to terminal cases", he said.

    "What we have developed is not a radically new anti-smallpox vaccine, but it is less dangerous and causes much less side-effects on the body", he continued. Now the vaccine will be tested on animals in the Tarasevich State Control Institute and then undergo clinical tests for harmlessness and tolerance on humans. Scientists believe that its parameters are fit for immunisation.

    In order to create a new anti-smallpox vaccine of a basically new generation scientists have to repeat the technological chain, which will take much more finance and time, Netesov said. The United States and Germany are already working on the new-generation of the anti-smallpox vaccine. Work in the United States is done virtually along the same lines as in Russia, the scientist from Novosibirsk said.

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