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"Emergency vaccination is being kept under review......"

Click here for August 7 updated "FMD disease emergency vaccination - question and answer brief" from the DEFRA site.

From DEFRA's general Question and Answer page Aug 2007 - section on vaccination



Will you vaccinate? Emergency vaccination is being kept under review. If a veterinary risk assessment shows that measures additional to the basic slaughter policy are required to control the disease. The (FMD control of) Vaccination Regulations 2006 place vaccination at the forefront of disease control policies and put in place control measures to enable vaccination to take place. The Government accepts that emergency vaccination should be considered as a disease control option from the start of any outbreak of FMD. There is a vaccination contingency plan in place, which enables vaccination to begin 5 days after disease is confirmed if it is felt necessary.

Why are we producing vaccine now?

Under our contingency plan, we are committed to being logistically ready to vaccinate within 5 days of confirmation of an FMD outbreak which is now the case as we have mobilised our vaccination contractors. We therefore need to ensure that we also have the vaccine available. The vaccine has already been produced in antigen form which means that it is easier to store for a number of technical reasons. We have ordered 300,000 doses of vaccine, now we know the relevant strain, to be made into finished vaccine.

What is it we are producing?

Vaccine that is effective against the strain found in Surrey (O BFS 67).

Where is it being produced and why?

It is being produced at the Merial production facility in Pirbright which is the only facility licensed to produce FMD vaccines in the UK. Obviously we would not be doing this without careful consideration and assessment of the risks. This production has been approved by the Health and Safety Executive and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate as safe as it does not involve the use of live virus and has no bearing on the current investigation. Production does not indicate that decision has been taken to vaccinate.

This is a fairly new vaccine, has it had its potency test?

The VMD have advised that this vaccine has passed all the normal safety checks and is safe to use. Blood tests have also shown a good level of protection although live animal tests on this batch have yet to be carried out - but in view of the need to have all options available we are going ahead.

Is it dangerous?

No the vaccines do not contain live virus.

Does this mean we are going to start vaccinating?

Our current risk assessment is that it is not necessary to vaccinate at this stage but we are keeping this under constant review in the light of the disease situation. Actions to date are part of the contingency plan and good preparedness.

If vaccination is used as a control method in this outbreak, how would that impact on the ability to export meat or live animals?

Vaccination to live, which would be our prefered option, would mean that it would take 6 months (rather than 3 months for a vaccinate to kill or slaughter only policy) to gain FMD free status for the purposes of international trade. The 6 months would run from the last confirmed case or the last vaccination, whichever is the later, and would require serological testing of a proportion of vaccinated animals to demonstrate that they are not infected. FMD disease emergency vaccination - question and answer brief.

If necessary, USE the BACK key to return to the page after each answer

FMD disease emergency vaccination - question and answer briefThis page was last updated on 7 August 2007.
I. Future disease control policy
II. What has changed since 2001?
III. Vaccine supplies
IV. Operational arrangements
V. Effectiveness of vaccination
VI. Post vaccination testing
VII. Stakeholder issues
VIII. What happens to animals and their products after they have been vaccinated?
IX. Treatment of products from animals which have not been vaccinated
X. Vaccination surveillance area
XI. Special measures

I. Future disease control policy

Q1. In the event of a future outbreak of FMD, what would be the disease control policy?

A. As in 2001, the basic disease control policy in the event of a future outbreak would be the slaughter of susceptible animals on infected premises and those identified as dangerous contacts. This is the requirement of the new EU FMD Directive. But greater prominence would be given to the use of emergency vaccination if measures additional to the basic slaughter policy were required to control the disease.
































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