Harrisvaccines' Rapid Response Leads to Avian Influenza Contract

17 November 2015, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - Harrisvaccines was recently awarded a US government stockpile contract to produce 48 million doses of avian influenza vaccine, utilising their unique rapid response SirraVax platform technology.

The USDA has purchased the quantity of doses, so it's not a tool for poultry producers to use at this time. However, Mr Harris said the stockpile is a resource for the industry to utilise if needed and is a step forward, putting the poultry industry in a better position moving forward.

Vaccine production is underway and 25 million doses will be delivered within about 45 days of the contract being issued, Mr Harris said. The remainder will be delivered over two years.

Joel Harris speaks to ThePoultrySite about the USDA government stockpile contract and what it means to the poultry industry.

Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza (HPAI), strain H5N2, is one of the most detrimental poultry diseases to hit the United States in recent decades. As of September, 2015, almost 50 million birds across the United States have been lost to the virus – about 25 million of which are located in Iowa, which was the top egg producing state in the US before the outbreak.

Symptoms of HPAI are similar to most influenza cases, however, it is much deadlier with most chickens dead within the first week and most turkeys lost within the first 48 hours. While wild migratory birds are carriers for the disease, they rarely show symptoms of the disease.

To read about MSD's recent acquisition of Harrisvaccines, click here.