|New ASF vaccine nears export status
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien is proud of Vietnam’s success in producing a vaccine for the disease (ASF), saying that countries and livestock companies have contacted the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Navetco JSC, which produces it, in order to work on related procedures to purchase vaccines.
“Creating a vaccine against ASF has been a difficult matter for the whole world. Thus, the room for export of this product is large for Vietnam, especially in the world’s largest producers and consumers of pork, such as China. Many Chinese companies are interested in landing orders of vaccines,” Tien said.
The success is a milestone in the veterinary industry, he added, which contributes to improving Vietnam’s position on the world’s vaccine map. “Vietnam has proven its capacity for being proactive in vaccine production and capacity to receive technology transfer,” Tien continued.
According to Navetco, the company has enough human resources and technology to produce 50 million doses for domestic and overseas markets. Besides that, Vietnam can take over the technology that was originally handled by the US Department of Agriculture.
In the first phase, the vaccine will be used on a narrow scale. Approximately 600,000 doses are planned for use in some cities and provinces where businesses and households voluntarily register to use it. In the second phase, after an evaluation report, the Department of Animal Health will report to its management body - the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development - to direct expansion plans.
The agency said that the safety studies were necessary to get the green light for use in Vietnam and eventually other countries, and commercial use will depend on approval from animal health departments in each nation.
The supply of vaccines will be diversified when the other two vaccines developed by livestock vaccine producer AVAC Vietnam Co., Ltd. and agricultural firm Dabaco Group JSC are expected to be licensed in Vietnam by the end of this year.
Testing of AVAC’s vaccine started in pig farms in March, with an efficacy rate reaching 95 per cent. It is finalising legal steps to register for circulation of the vaccine. Meanwhile, Dabaco’s version has also been tested and evaluated since the same month.
Dabaco deputy general director Nguyen Van Tue told VIR, “The group is concentrating its power sources in collaboration with infrastructure to carry out vaccine production. To date, the group has achieved certain successes in research and testing with high protection. We are also completing the construction of a factory to serve vaccine production.”
ASF is still spreading around the world, with approximately 63 nations suffering from outbreaks, including China, the Philippines, India, and Indonesia. South Korea will step up quarantine efforts at major airports and harbours to prevent ASF and other contagious animal diseases from entering the country.
In Europe, which has a developed livestock industry, the disease has been confirmed in the wild boar of Germany, Italy, Hungary, and others.
While livestock companies in Vietnam are looking forward to getting their hands on the vaccine, their leading concern is the effectiveness of any new genetic changes.
A representative of one foreign-invested group told VIR, “If livestock companies and households are subject to the effectiveness of vaccines and neglect to maintain biosecurity, the damage may be much more serious.”
Marc E. Knapper - US Ambassador to Vietnam
Our Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office at the embassy facilitated an agreement between the Agriculture Research Service in the United States, Vietnam’s Department of Animal Health, and Navetco. This agreement was the foundation for US scientists to provide support to Vietnamese scientists in the development and testing of the vaccine. This collaborative effort, involving all levels of government, was integral to the development of the vaccine and serves as an example for future cooperation.
It was not easy to get here and scientists have been working for decades on a vaccine.
The complexities in developing a safe and effective vaccine are many and the hard work of scientists, researchers, and field personnel should be recognised.
I wish to thank scientists from both of our countries for making this possible, and the regulators whose diligent work reviewing the science assures an effective vaccine. Your contribution to global animal health and food security will be felt for years to come.
The US supports the development of new vaccines to promote animal and human health. Our scientists will continue to collaborate with Vietnam to this end. I encourage Vietnam to continue to invest in and strengthen its veterinary infrastructure to monitor and control animal diseases. As evidenced by the development of this ASF vaccine, working together we can achieve great things. Let’s continue to partner on animal health and other scientific issues of mutual interest.