BT vaccination plan steps up a gear

APRIL 8, 2008: The JAB campaign for mass vaccination against bluetongue can step upa gear after Intervet announced its vaccine has been licensed for usein the UK. The news comes as Defra published its roll out plan andguidance notes for livestock keepers and vets.

Intervet expectsto release the first three million doses to the UK in May, but isconfident that it will exceed this commitment, and hopes that the Maydelivery will reach five million doses, starting in the most vulnerableareas in the east of England.

In a joint statement industrystakeholders for JAB said: "We are delighted the product has beenapproved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). This means wenow have a licensed product to work with, which means the messagesabout the vaccine can be much clearer.

"This is a significantstep forward for the campaign, which is aimed at getting farmers behinda vaccination programme to stop bluetongue in its tracks. Farmersshould identify how much vaccine they need for their livestock, theyshould contact their vet about ordering and talk to them about vaccineavailability."

Defra's vaccination roll out plan for the England,which has been developed by the core group which includes industryrepresentatives, is another important development.

JAB said"While the ultimate roll out plan has to remain flexible enough toaccommodate any developments with the virus, it gives a clearindication to farmers of the current thinking of how the vaccine willbe delivered and it should allow them to start planning for vaccination.

"TheJAB campaign was launched less than a month ago so this news means goodprogress is being made and we urge farmers to talk with their vets andlook out for further information about when vaccine will be availablein their county."

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