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Vietnam approves commercial use of first African swine fever vaccines

The approval of the vaccines could pave the way for possible sales abroad, a major breakthrough to tackle the deadly animal disease that regularly ravages pig farms worldwide.

Reuters
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Pigs are seen at a farm outside Hanoi, Vietnam Sept 20, 2019. Photo: Reuters
Pigs are seen at a farm outside Hanoi, Vietnam Sept 20, 2019. Photo: Reuters

Vietnam has approved the domestic commercial use of two home-grown vaccines against African swine fever, the government said on Monday, making them the world's first commercial vaccines against the deadly disease.

The vaccines include NAVET-ASFVAC, co-developed by Navetco Central Veterinary Medicine and scientists from the US, and AVAC ASF LIVE developed by AVAC Vietnam JSC, the government said in a statement.

The approval of the vaccines could pave the way for possible sales abroad, a major breakthrough to tackle the deadly animal disease that regularly ravages pig farms worldwide.

African swine fever has for years disrupted the US$250 billion (about RM1.1 trillion) global pork market. In the worst outbreak in 2018-19, about half the domestic pig population died in China, the world's biggest producer, causing losses estimated at over US$100 billion.

The ministry of agriculture has told the companies to work out production plans for domestic sales and for exports, the government statement said.

More than 650,000 doses of the vaccines had recently been tested on hog herds in 40 provinces, with an efficacy rate of 95%, according to the government.

"The vaccines are eligible for circulation and use nationwide," the ministry said in the statement.

US Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack said last month there was likely to be interest in precautionary purchases in the US, despite the country having so far been spared from the virus.

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