Swine fever vaccine approved for commercial use

July 25, 2023 - 06:57
Prior to the approval, a pilot programme was conducted with over 600,000 vaccine shots administered in farms across Việt Nam. 
A pig farm in Kiên Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Monday issued guidelines approving the use of vaccines on pigs against the swine fever virus.

The document sent to provincial and city People’s Committees said that localities can use the vaccines based on the disease situation in their area, and will evaluate the effectiveness following the vaccination. 

The two vaccines that will be used are NAVET-ASFVAC and AVAC ASF LIVE, which have been approved for circulation. 

These are the first vaccines of their type that receive the approval. In over 100 years, there has not been a licensed commercial vaccine against African swine fever (ASF) in the world. 

Prior to the approval, a pilot programme was conducted with over 600,000 vaccine shots administered in farms across Việt Nam. 

Results in July 2023 show that pigs receiving the vaccine are in good health. On average, more than 95 per cent of the vaccinated pigs have a high antibody response. 

An independent assessment by a USDA (US Department of Agriculture) delegation conducted in April-May 2023 also confirmed the results of vaccine research and production from the Vietnamese side. 

The evaluation shows that the Việt Nam-made ASF vaccines meet international standards, including those that have been developed by scientists and submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

The MARD’s document also noted that during this vaccination drive, local pig herds might have been infected with ASF or other diseases without showing clinical symptoms. 

Therefore, vaccination may cause an outbreak that leads to death. In this case, the infected must be culled according to regulations. 

Local authorities will also work with relevant units and the two vaccine manufacturers, NAVETCO and AVAC Việt Nam to administer the vaccines according to the manufacturer’s instruction. 

Localities will also report on the vaccination results and possible bottlenecks to the MARD, through its Department of Animal Health for solutions. 

The two vaccine manufacturers are also required to ensure production accordingly to the demands in the country and abroad to ensure quality and quantity as per regulations. Response plans must also be ready in case of unexpected risks that occur during the vaccination drive.

They will also provide guidelines to localities on technical criteria and the selection of pigs for vaccination. 

The vaccine companies will also need to send vaccine samples to the National Center for Veterinary Drugs and Bio-Products Control No 1 for quality checks for at least 10 consecutive batches of vaccines. 

The Department of Animal Health will provide support to localities and businesses in vaccine use and quality control, as well as coordination with US experts on vaccine development for different types of pigs of different ages, as well as effectiveness evaluation. — VNS