Vaccination in Uruguay 2001

Modern vaccines can perform well in case of an outbreak.

During the last ten years vaccines were successfully used for the control of outbreaks in Bulgaria (1994), Thrace province of Turkey (1995, 1996), Macedonia (1996) and Yugoslavia (1996), South-Africa (2000, 2001), The Netherlands (2001), and Uruguay (2001).

In Uruguay the outbreak lasted from the end of April until the end of August. The incident rates were comparable with those of the UK in 2001 and were about 50 per day one month after the outbreak. At this point vaccination of all the cattle was started.

There was no slaughter on infected farms because the farmers resisted the idea. Instead, animals were quarantined and there was a stand still of animal movement.

Almost 11 million cattle were vaccinated - the 12 million sheep grazing beside them were not. Vaccination was carried out by the farmers themselves. It continued until the beginning of June followed by a booster programme until the third week of July.

The rate quickly dropped to a few incidences per day.

Movement restrictions were discontinued on the 6th of June.

On the 26th of August Uruguay had their last case.

The UK could have controlled the disease by vaccination using the present potent vaccines. The cost in terms of money and the suffering of rural communities - including farmers suicides - was many times higher than in Uruguay.

There are no documented cases of animals vaccinated with a qualified vaccine causing new outbreaks. April 2002