UK orders bird flu vaccines
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra) in the UK has ordered 10 million doses of vaccine to protect poultry
against bird flu.
Five million doses have already been manufactured at Intervet's production
facility in Spain and are expected to arrive in the UK within the next three
weeks. The vaccine can be used against both the H5 and H7 strains of the virus,
in poultry and other captive birds.
says the UK's
policy on vaccination remains unchanged. In a statement, it said: â€œDue to
uncertainties in the future nature and spread of the virus, this supply is part
of sensible contingency planning. Defra would not use currently available
vaccines in advance of an outbreak or as an immediate disease control response.
Early reporting, rapid action, bio-security, culling and surveillance remain the
most effective methods of protecting against and controlling an avian influenza
earlier this month that the European Union had granted it a license for its
avian flu vaccine.
According to the World
, bird flu has killed 48 people since 2003, mostly in
Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and China. About 200 million birds have died or
Britain has seen just one case of the virus, in a dead swan found at
Cellardyke in Scotland in April. There are fears, however, that it could be
brought to Britain by the autumn migration of water birds.
Earlier this year, the ministry ordered 2.3 million doses of vaccine for
possible preventive vaccination of zoo birds.
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