U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack expressed his confidence in a recently approved vaccine, saying it would help kill a deadly virus that wiped out millions of pigs in the country.
Vaccine producer Harrisvaccines from Iowa announced the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) Vaccine. Utilizing the SiraVaxSM RNA Particle Technology, it is the first to be granted a USDA conditional licensure since the initial PEDv outbreak. The license allows Harrisvaccines to directly sell the vaccine to swine producers and veterinarians fighting against PEDv.
According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the vaccine has no restrictions under the conditional license. The agency said that preliminary studies of the Harrisvaccines vaccine appears to be promising in controlling the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus which killed around 8 million pigs in 2013, pushing prices of pork to record highs.
"The impact of this disease has been devastating," CEO and Founder of Harrisvaccines Dr. Hank Harris said. "At Harrisvaccines, we recognized the great threat that PEDv posed to the industry immediately and that is why we are able to introduce the first USDA conditionally licensed PEDv vaccine on the market."
The virus can be 100 percent deadly to young piglets, cutting the hog herd in the United States by around 10 percent. The USDA pledged $26.2 million to aid producers in fighting the disease. Around two million of doses of the PEDv vaccine have already been sold through veterinary prescription. The World Animal Health Organization OIE welcomes the vaccine and confirmed that the virus was now subsiding in the United States.
There are plans based on best practices recommended by the industry including disease monitoring through biosecurity measures and testing. The steps will help reduce the virus in affected animals, continue the movement of production and processing in animals and further prevent the disease outbreak.
Plans are in the right track as the problem seems to be settling down both in Canada and the United States. The vaccine passing the tests and being authorized for use is a good sign but further tests are needed to determine whether there is still a risk that animals can be contagious without being sick even vaccination.