Return to       About vaccination against foot and mouth

Colin Fink replies to the paragraph on warmwell about Farming Today October 3 2007 on the view


The epidemiologist's views about vaccine do not accord with my own.

If you ring vaccinate , of course new animals could not be moved into the ring unless also vaccinated, for safety reasons concerning vaccination being complete.

There would have to be a pause whilst the vaccine took effect and was completed .

Animals moving out would need to be tagged or marked in some way that could not be forged, so they could move after the vaccine had taken effect.

Vaccinated animals do not become carriers. The newer vaccines would create an unsusceptible population and the infection would simply melt away. I agree that the result could be messy in terms of any animals left and susceptible, but that would not matter, at least the animals would not be wasted and the infection would die out. If more than about 70% are vaccinated then the infection would have nowhere to go.

Surely what we are doing here is preserving edible stock, stopping the infection and preserving genetic stock.

I do not share the concern about 'accidents with vaccine' and the contention that some of the vaccine is actually live virus, surely can be discounted. Yes, even Salk had some problems with falure to inactivate Polio vaccine - but things have moved on since then.

The question of 'expense' has several interpretations:
How do you put a price on a family's generations of work in breeding stock or the loss for marginal farmers and the burden for all of us of their lives ruined and the social security support etc?
Vaccination to live and adaptation of the rules in the EU and resolution of the half truths and prejudice about this infection is a far more creative way of dealing with this whole problem. The medieval approach from DEFRA has the dead hand of the unthinking , paid anyway, public sector administrator, intellectually unable to attempt any other employment.

No, we can do better than that.


Dr Colin G Fink
Clinical Virologist & Hon. Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences University of Warwick
Micropathology Ltd Research and Diagnosis


























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