Published Date: 2004-02-11 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> Avian influenza, poultry vaccines (04)
Archive Number: 20040211.0462
AVIAN INFLUENZA, POULTRY VACCINES (04)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: South China Morning Post, 10 Feb 2004 [edited]
Crack down on fake poultry vaccines; all provinces instructed to deal with
The central government is to crackdown on fake vaccines for poultry after
the World Health Organization (WHO) warned yesterday that using
poor-quality products would make the bird flu outbreak worse. As part of
the move, announced by CCTV [China Central Television] last night,
instructions have been issued to all provinces to deal with the problem.
The bird flu outbreak continues to spread on the mainland.
The South China Morning Post reported on Friday that chicken farmers in
Guangdong had been using vaccines secretly produced in underground
factories to try to protect their flocks against the disease.
WHO has been pressing the Ministry of Agriculture for more information
about the quality and type of vaccines being used to tackle the disease.
The unofficially produced vaccine is only half the price of the
government-approved variety. A WHO animal diseases specialist, Jeff
Gilbert, warned that using a poor-quality vaccine could have adverse
effects. He said in some situations, inadequate vaccines might end up
masking an infection in birds.
The Guangdong government said yesterday it would allocate a further 5
million yuan [USD 604 000] to produce proper vaccines against bird flu. The
initial amount allocated has not been disclosed.
Meanwhile, a team from the WHO and the UN's Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) is visiting Jiangxi, where bird flu has been found in
poultry in recent days. In Zhuhai, the authorities are on high alert after
more than 1000 chickens died at a poultry farm in Doman Sangli village on
Sunday. The authorities there have cordoned-off the village, and all birds
within an area of 3 km have been destroyed. All vehicles entering and
leaving the village are being sterilised and checked. "It is a suspected
case (of bird flu). We have immediately taken preventive measures," said a
foreign press office spokeswoman in Zhuhai. "Samples have already been sent
to the Ministry of Health and we are waiting the test results."
13 provinces and regions are now either confirmed as having bird flu or
have suspected cases under investigation. The mainland has meanwhile
stepped up cooperation with WHO. Officials from the ministries of health
and agriculture have held meetings with WHO and FAO specialists to plan
joint action, the global health body said in a statement yesterday.
Henk Bekedam, the WHO representative on the mainland, said it faced a
formidable task in tackling bird flu. He said that while WHO had not been
presented with any evidence of human infection on the mainland, it did not
rule out the possibility of such cases existing. "It is conceivable that
there may be human cases, given the extent of the outbreaks in poultry,"
said Dr Bekedam.
[byline: Ella Lee and Chow Chung-yan]
[HPAI vaccination is currently officially applied in China and Indonesia.
In China, vaccination is compulsory in a radius of 5 km around infected or
suspected premises. Though no official data are available, news items that
included pictures indicate that animals of several species are being
vaccinated; these include chickens, ducks, geese, and doves.
The possible drawbacks of HPAI vaccines are related to their safety and/or
efficacy. Though only killed vaccines are supposed to be allowed, in one
press picture, allegedly photographed at a chicken farm in Banten, West
Java, Indonesia on 30 Jan 2004, the use of an eye-drop vaccine is shown; if
authentic, this might indicate the application of a live-attenuated
vaccine. According to chapter 2.14.1 of OIE's Manual of standards,
Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines, the use of live-attenuated HPAI vaccines is
"not recommended". More and full information on the vaccines applied in
China and Indonesia, with special reference to the measures taken by the
responsible authorities to control vaccine production and testing and to
certify their release for field use, is urgently needed. - Mod.AS]