A panel of experts at Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry decided Monday to start producing a vaccine for the H7N9 strain of avian influenza following a number of reported cases of human infections in China.
The ministry will make the vaccine based on a vaccine strain produced by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, while seeking cooperation from vaccine makers. Production work will start within this month at the earliest.
The ministry will first use the vaccine for animal tests and then decide whether to conduct clinical trials on humans after examining the results of the animal tests.
With the Ebola outbreak swiftly spreading in West Africa, Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital opened to the press on Wednesday a special isolation ward for highly dangerous infectious diseases. (The Japan News)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)