The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Zoetis its latest contract for vaccines that could be used against avian influenza. The contract calls for 34.2 million doses of Avian Influenza Vaccine, H5N1 Subtype, Killed Virus, valued at $3.42 million, to be delivered in 2016 and for another 34.2 million doses, valued at $3.42 million, to be delivered in 2017.
The USDA granted Zoetis a conditional license for this vaccine, intended for use in chickens as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by avian influenza virus H5N1, in March 2016.
“Developing this newest vaccine is further demonstration of our strong commitment to poultry producers,” said Jon Schaeffer, DVM, director of U.S. Poultry Veterinary Services at Zoetis. “We stand ready to help implement a vaccination strategy, should the USDA determine that is the best course of action for the industry. In the meantime, we continue to support the USDA and our customers in helping prevent future avian influenza outbreaks.”
An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) during the spring and summer of 2015 was the largest animal health emergency in the country’s history, according to USDA. More than 49 million birds have died, with HPAI detected in migratory birds as well as commercial and backyard flocks in 21 states, as a result of last year’s outbreak.
The conditional license was granted on the demonstration of a reasonable expectation of efficacy based on serology data. Efficacy and potency studies are in progress.