China's first domestically-developed triple vaccine for swine is now available to farmers in Heilongjiang province, according to an announcement from the Harbin Institute of Veterinary Medicine under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The live vaccine protects against three common diseases afflicting hog farms across north China: porcine transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, and porcine rotavirus (G-type).

Feng Li, head of the research team that developed the vaccine, noted that the foundations of this breakthrough were laid with research dating back to the 1970s. If the vaccine is adopted widely, its economic impact on China's domestic pork industry is estimated to be a CNY30 billion (US$4.9 billion) annual boost, according to a report provided by Smart Agriculture Analytics.

According to the director of the Harbin Institute of Veterenary Medicine, Bu Zhigao, PED virus swept across north China in 2010, with mortality rates exceeding 80 percent of the piglet population under 7 days old. The disease spread across Asia and reached North America in April 2013, reaching mortality rates of near 100 percent among piglets under 10 days old. In March 2014, a U.S.-developed RNA-based vaccine hit the market, but it has not been well-received by the industry in China.