While the United States has not approved a program where it would vaccinate poultry flocks against avian influenza, there are 14 countries that did implement avian flu vaccination programs during the period between 2002 and 2010.
According to information provided by Dr. David Swayne, USDA Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory director, some of the countries to approve vaccination did so as a preventative measure, six did so as an emergency action, while four vaccinated as a national routine. Swayne shared this information during a presentation at the 2016 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Of those, 99 percent of the vaccine dosages were used by countries doing a national/routine vaccination. Those countries included China, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam, which were also the four countries where the most dosages were administered.
Avian influenza vaccination as a preventative measure was approved by Mongolia, Kazakhstan, France and the Netherlands.
Approving vaccination as an emergency response were Cote d’ivore, Sudan, North Korea, Israel, Russia and Pakistan.
The USDA had stated in January that it had no plans in the immediate future to vaccinate poultry flocks against highly pathogenic avian influenza, although it had secured contracts with two companies to produce vaccines for the national stockpile.
On January 15, a highly pathogenic strain of H7N8 avian influenza was confirmed in a commercial turkey operation in Indiana. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) further confirmed the presence of H7N8 in nine other turkey flocks, with eight of those being affected by a low pathogenic avian influenza strain, while test results are inconclusive at this point concerning the other flock.