Bird Flu: Is It The Next Pandemic? Patent Application for “New DNA” Vaccine

OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion

Influenza, not uncommon to wild birds (H5 bird flu), has been detected in a human in the United States this past week. The flu has killed hundreds of birds, but now there are two cases reported in humans.

The CDC announced H5N1 bird flu has been found in U.S. commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states since it began tracking the outbreak in late 2021. The CDC states that though the virus can spread between an infected person and a close contact only very rarely, based on previous outbreaks, it does not lead to sustained spread between humans.

This is the first case in the U.S. and only the second case internationally, according to the CDC.

The Colorado patient, a man who works in the poultry industry, is only one person and the CDC says the risk of infection for the public is low, but this one case is giving attention to a related situation pertaining to the type of vaccines being developed for viruses, and who is controlling those vaccines.

How many cases will be cause to call the next pandemic? And what about vaccines? Who will own and control the vaccines? There seems to be a race to see the answers. The ‘DNA vaccine” which is not new, raises concerns. reports that an old article reveals that the U.S. government applied for a patent for a new vaccine against influenza, particularly for bird flu (H5N1).

“The vaccine incorporates genes from an H5N1 strain isolated from an Indonesian human victim of bird flu in 2005,” according to a 2008 GRAIN article.

GRAIN reported, “The patent application, first published as application WO2007/100584 on 7 September 2007 on a WIPO internet database, is for a new type called a ‘DNA vaccine.’ The strain that contains the genes was transferred to the WHO GISN by Indonesia for characterization for public health purposes but may wind up as the property of the US government.

Under US law, the US government agencies would offer licenses to the technology to pharmaceutical companies. The patent application indicates that the US government intends to pursue the claim in most countries of the world, including Indonesia itself, as well as neighboring countries.

The application was first lodged in the United States on 16 February 2006 and then filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on 16 February 2007. It was first published as application WO2007/100584 on 7 September 2007 on a WIPO internet database but is only now coming into the public light.

The patent application claims a new vaccine against influenza, particularly for Bird Flu (H5N1). The vaccines incorporate one to four genes from a H5N1 strain isolated from an Indonesian human victim in 2005 (denominated A/Indonesia/5/05).

The patent application also claims similar vaccines that incorporate genes of flu strains from Thailand (A/Thailand/1(KAN-1)/04) and A/Ck/Thailand/1/04), Hong Kong (A/Hong Kong/156/97), and South Korea (A/Ck/Korea/ES/03).”

According to this information, the U.S. government has been active in seeking patents for the ‘DNA vaccine’ sine2007, and possibly before.

GRAIN further reported,

The vaccine is of a new type called a DNA vaccine. These stimulate the immune system like others vaccines, except instead of using a traditional approach, such as injecting a dead virus, they consist of lengths of genetically engineered DNA called plasmids. This type of vaccine is under development in a number of biotech labs.

The WHO states in regard to DNA vaccines, ” The field of DNA vaccination is developing rapidly. Vaccines currently being developed use not only DNA, but also include adjuncts that assist DNA to enter cells, target it toward specific cells, or that may act as adjuncts in stimulating or directing the immune response.”

The race to create these DNA vaccines, and to have the patents on them, highlights the differences between DNA and RNA vaccines.

In 2021 reported on the emerging vaccines, and quoted Connie Schmaljohn, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick. Schmaljohn explained that a DNA vaccine needs to deliver its genetic payload to an antigen-presenting cell, just like an mRNA vaccine, but within the cell the final destination differs. ” It’s easy enough to get it [RNA] into the cytoplasm, but then you have that added step with DNA- you have to get it in to the nucleus,” she explained.

The current DNA vaccines use “…plasmid DNA derived from bacterial cells,” according to the CDC. The CDC states, “In future, others may use RNA or may use complexes of nucleic acid molecules and other entities.”

The implementation of this type of vaccine during the Covid-19 pandemic raised concerns over side effects, long-term effects, mandates, and other personal issues.

The DNA vaccine is an emerging study with many questions. Patents have been in the works worldwide for a number of years, and the U.S. has actively pursued worldwide patents for them.

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