It seems that zoonoses have been the cause of many of the epidemics and pandemics, and veterinarians have always been there. For obvious reasons, vets have the knowledge and the expertise to handle these situations. And coronaviruses as well are not new for vets.

My friend Héctor Navarro, from Orffa - a vet himself - tells me that "veterinarians consider animal protection upon arrival each new flock, to avoid losing animals. It is a scenario similar to the present COVID-19. Once an exotic disease shows up, mandatory reporting comes, together with the sanitary siege and quarantine." I think he's got a point.

"Each poultry flock is a whole universe [of possibilities], in which the vet must know the bird's immunity upon arrival, the environment where they get in. Poultry are vaccinated in-ovo and vaccine strains in breeders are updated. We feed them correctly". So, voilà. There you go! So, are we considering all health professionals for COVID-19?

I also knew about a comment from Luis Enrique Martín Otero, a knowledgeable expert from the Veterinary Health Surveillance Center in Spain, stating that veterinarians have the training and education in five fields where biological threats can affect: public health, animal health, environment, and feeding.

But he also made a statement: governments are looking for all types of help to vaccinate people, including dentists and pharmacists, but no veterinarians. Why?

Vets know how to apply injections, don't they? They participate in vaccination programs with thousands and thousands of animals. But they also participate in public vaccination programs. Héctor Navarro told me about his experience as a vet student for the Public Health course in a polio vaccination campaign in Mexico in the mid 80's, where he applied 250 vaccines to low-income kids.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in the United States is using their animal health technicians to support the COVID-19 vaccination program. Why don't other countries draw upon these resources in such a situation? The U.S. is setting an example that could well be applied to Latin America or elsewhere.

What do you think?

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