The Biden regime is now weighing in on testing the first avian flu shot on chickens and other types of poultry in years.
This action is in response to rising fears about the spread of highly virulent avian influenza, which has resulted in the deaths of millions of birds, most of which were found in commercial poultry flocks.
In recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning after cases of the virus strain jumping from birds to mammals were reported, urging the countries should prepare for the possibility of another pandemic caused by H5N1.
“Over the past few weeks, there have been several reports of mammals, including minks, otters, foxes, and sea lions, having been infected with H5N1 avian influenza,” said WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a media briefing on global health.
“H5N1 has spread widely in wild birds and poultry for 25 years, but the recent spillover to mammals needs to be monitored closely. For the moment, WHO assesses the risk to humans as low,” he added.
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Now, federal scientists are preparing to test the first avian flu shots in years.
However, vaccinating commercial birds isn’t a straightforward solution since some people worry it will make it more difficult for the United States to export poultry products.
“The decision to proceed with vaccination is complex, and many factors must be considered before implementing a vaccination strategy,” USDA spokesperson Mike Stepien told CBS News, adding that the inspection service is discussing its options and “soliciting input from many different industry stakeholders that would be impacted.”
Stepien noted that while licensing animal vaccinations can take years, certain steps can be expedited in cases of emergency.
Also, they are not sure whether or not the new shot could protect against the current strain of avian influenza.
“There are a lot of moving parts to this kind of testing. And some of it is just pure logistics of getting everything in place to do the testing, getting the vaccines that are updated, getting things from parties that are involved, different manufacturers,” Erin Spackman, a virologist who studies avian influenza vaccines at the USDA, told CBS.
The USDA did not disclose any information on the kind of shots that would be used throughout the testing process.
According to the Daily Mail, “there are a few in development, and at the Pirbright Institute in the UK, scientists are developing an improved shot that involves tagging flu virus proteins with a marker that makes them easier for antigen-presenting cells (APCs) to capture. This generates faster and stronger immune responses to the bird flu strain compared to the inactivated virus vaccine that is the current standard.”
There’s also a study suggesting the use of mRNA vaccine for poultry.
Recall, the government of New South Wales announced that it had requested the American biotechnology company Tiba Biotech to speed up the development of the first mRNA vaccines for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease.
“The NSW Nationals in Government are taking the threat of FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease extremely seriously, and this milestone is another step forward in preparing for a potential outbreak,” said Paul Toole, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW.
NSW hopes to produce a world-first synthetic vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and lumpy skin disease by August 2023 with a $6 million government grant.
“I have now written to vaccine manufacturers to take up my challenge to develop both vaccines ready for use and manufacture in NSW by August 1 next year,” Toole said.