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Photo by Lea Kimley.

USDA moving forward with vaccine bank

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced recent progress on implementing programs funded by the 2018 Farm Bill, including moving forward with developing a Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank.

Specifically, APHIS is awarding $10.2 million to support disease prevention and emergency response training. As part of this funding, APHIS is moving forward with developing the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. The first priority of the bank is to increase the U.S. stockpile of FMD vaccines. Last year, APHIS’ 30-day sources sought notice for FMD vaccines closed, with seven responses reviewed by the agency.

APHIS is now issuing a request for proposals, and plans to have the initial FMD vaccine contracts in place by the end of the second quarter of FY2020. The agency’s goal is to invest between $15 million and $30 million on the vaccine by the end of this year. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S. economy, should an outbreak occur. These initiatives are critically important to pork producers in their efforts to prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases and maintain the high level of health in the U.S. swine herd. NPPC has been advocating for USDA to move as quickly as possible to establish an FMD vaccine bank and is grateful to APHIS for its efforts to begin implementation of these programs.

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