U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is confident a vaccine developed by Iowa’s Harrisvaccines will be effective in the battle against porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus. The vaccine is the first one to get approval from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in controlling PED virus.
Speaking June 18, Vilsack said preliminary studies of the PED virus vaccine “have been promising” in controlling the virus, Reuters reported. PED virus has killed as many as 8 million pigs since it was first detected in the U.S. in May 2013.
"I don't want to say the virus will be eradicated but I think you will see we're on the other side of this," Vilsack said while speaking to agriculture industry members at the U.S. embassy in Paris.
Harrisvaccines' product became the first to win U.S. Department of Agriculture conditional approval, which means it can be sold over the counter but the company must continue to test its effectiveness. The USDA announced its approval on June 16.
"Hopefully by the end of the year we will be in a situation where we can say 'yes, folks, (the vaccine) works', start producing mass quantities of it so that farm producers around the world will not have to worry about this," Vilsack said.