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Russian scientists could create swine flu vaccine in 3 months

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russian scientists could create a vaccine to combat swine flu in three months, the head of Russia's Flu Research Institute said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Thursday.

The scientists develop a vaccine for seasonal influenza every year, but the current task is to "adjust it to a new highly pathogenic strain," Oleg Kiselyov said, adding that Russian specialists "will try to create the vaccine in three months."

Kiselyov also said Russian tablets to meet the global swine flu outbreak could appear in early 2010.

"I don't think that we will be ready by October -November, although production is underway. But next year they will appear for sure," he said.

Earlier this week, Dmitry Lvov, director of the Virology Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, said the vaccine against swine flu could be developed within six months.

Despite the fact that the illness has so far only officially claimed eight lives, seven in Mexico and one in the U.S., the outbreak has sparked a number of dramatic media reports suggesting future death tolls "could" be in the tens of thousands or even millions.

Laboratory cases, with no fatalities, have also been reported by Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5), according to World Health Organization.

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