USDA Issues Second Call to Stock Up on Bird Flu Vaccines

US - The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a second request for proposals from vaccine manufacturers to supply avian influenza vaccines for an emergency stockpile.
calendar icon 23 November 2015
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In October, the USDA awarded contracts to two companies, Ceva and Harrisvaccines, to manufacture doses of avian influenza vaccine for its National Veterinary Stockpile.

But now the department wants even more vaccines - even though vaccine use has not yet been approved by APHIS.

APHIS said that it is preparing to ensure that vaccine is available should the decision be made to use it. In a statement, the agency said: "Any decision to use vaccination in a future HPAI outbreak would require careful consideration of the efficacy of the vaccine, any impacts of using HPAI vaccine in the field, and the potential trade impacts."

The disease killed millions of poultry birds across North America earlier this year, and was the biggest animal disease situation ever seen in the US. Experts think that migrating birds could spread the disease again, leading to the need for preparation.

The request for proposals seeks vaccine manufacturers with the interest and capability to supply a variety of EA H5 vaccines in sufficient numbers to add to the stockpile.

Vaccines will be carefully evaluated on a number of factors including their efficacy against EA H5 viruses, and products must meet all of APHIS’ safety, potency, and purity standards.

All eligible products to be considered must be either conditionally or fully licensed or permitted at the time of submission. Vaccine manufacturers will be evaluated on their ability to produce such vaccines in a timely manner in adequate numbers to meet the needs of the response.

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