document.write(''); France to launch bird flu vaccination program after "enough" tests - Simo Baha

France to launch bird flu vaccination program after “enough” tests

France has confirmed its intention to start a bird flu vaccination program in the autumn after the results of a series of duck vaccination tests showed “sufficient effectiveness”, the agriculture ministry said.


A severe strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has devastated poultry production worldwide, leading to the culling of more than 200 million birds in the past 18 months.

France has been the worst-affected country in the European Union and has been facing a strong resurgence of outbreaks in the south-west of the country since the beginning of this month, mainly in the duck region.

It had already placed an initial order of 80 million vaccines last month, subject to final tests by the French health security agency ANSES.

“These favorable results have provided sufficient guarantees to start the vaccination campaign already in the fall of 2023,” the Ministry of Agriculture wrote on its website.

Governments, often shy about using vaccines because of trade restrictions, have increasingly considered adopting them to prevent the spread of the virus and avoid human-to-human transmission.

Test results showed good control of virus transmission in vaccinated mule ducks, differentiation of infected and vaccinated animals, known as the DIVA principle, and reduced virus shedding by vaccinated birds, the test concluded.

France has commissioned two companies, France’s Ceva Animal Health and Germany’s Boehringher Ingelheim, to develop an avian flu vaccine for ducks.

Several other EU countries have conducted trials, including the Netherlands on laying hens and Italy on turkeys. In the Netherlands, the first results showed that the tested vaccines were effective.


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