Classical vaccines against different highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses for use in domestic poultry and other birds have been developed successfully. These are adjuvanted vaccines that provide adequate and broad protection against disease caused by HPAI virus strains. Vaccination of poultry and other domestic or zoo birds may also prevent or reduce human exposure to HPAI viruses. The question as to whether or not influenza vaccines for animals could be used for humans is often asked. There are at least three reasons why this is not possible with the currently used animal vaccines:
- Protection induced in bird and mammalian species is usually broader – against more related virus subtypes – than in humans.
- Adjuvants in animal influenza vaccines are usually not safe enough and not approved for use in humans.
- Production methods for animal influenza vaccines are not suitable for producing human vaccines, due to the higher quality standards required for the latter.