Federal health advisors recommended that the government approve the first bird flu vaccine as a stopgap measure. Although there is evidence that the Sanofi Aventis SA vaccine may not protect people, it has been proved safe and effective, which are required for Food And Drug Administration approval. Officials said the vaccine could still potentially play an important role in protection in the event of a pandemic, published reports said. This is the first vaccine against the H5N1 influenza strain to seek government approval and would be for adults 18 to 64 years old. The FDA said it would like to see a higher percentage of protective immune response in adults from the vaccine, though the vaccine could prove better than nothing in an outbreak, said Norman Baylor, director of the vaccine office, FDA, according to published reports. It has also been reported that Laos confirmed its first human case of the bird flu yesterday.