The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held a press conference on June 1st to announce the results of the research and commercial production of African swine fever vaccines. Accordingly, this monumental feat of the livestock industry will be officially announced on June 3, 2022. The vaccine is to be announced with the trade name NAVET-ASFVAC, which is successfully researched and manufactured by Navetco Company.
In response to the most farmers' current concerns about the price of the NAVET-ASFVAC African swine fever vaccine, Mr. Tran Xuan Hanh, Deputy General Director of Navetco Company, said that the price of the vaccine is expected to range from 34,000 to 36,000 VND/dose, equivalent to the current price of blue ear disease vaccine.
Mr. Hanh affirmed that this price is completely acceptable to domestic farmers and ranchers.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien emphasized that the African swine fever is a dangerous infectious disease caused by a virus in pigs, appearing for the first time in Africa in 1921. The disease is characterized by rapid spread, infecting pigs of all ages and types. The disease is especially dangerous with a 100% mortality rate.
It has been 100 years since the African swine fever was discovered. Although scientists have published over 4,000 research related to the virus and vaccine development, there was no commercial vaccine in the world.
However, after a long period of focused research, US scientists announced the successful study of a attenuated African swine fever virus with the ASF-G-Delta I177L gene removed at the beginning of November 2019. This is an important prerequisite for the research and production of vaccines.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sent leaders of the Department of Animal Health to the United States to meet and discuss directly with US experts in the research and production of African swine fever vaccine. The research and production of the official vaccine has been carried out in collaboration with US experts.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed the Department of Animal Health to sign a General Technical Cooperation Agreement with the Agricultural Research Institute under the US Ministry of Agriculture as an implementation basis for both parties. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development allowed the import of attenuated African swine fever virus strains used for research and vaccine production in Vietnam from July 2020.
Immediately after receiving the ASFV-G-∆I177L seed strain from the US Department of Agriculture in September 2020, Navetco Company urgently carried out research, underwent 5 laboratory testings. As a result, 100% of the vaccinated pigs are protected against toxicity in the laboratory.
In production conditions, over 80% of the vaccinated pigs are protected against African swine fever virus in Vietnam, the immunity granted by the vaccine lasts 6 months after vaccination.
Vietnam has officially produced a commercial vaccine against African swine fever, meeting professional and technical requirements, ensuring sterility, safety and effectiveness; the immunity period lasts 6 months, contributing to the safety of livestock and pork production.
According to Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set up grassroots and ministerial-level scientific councils and held meetings with the participation of many leading Vietnamese scientists, managers, vaccine manufacturers and veterinary to research, evaluate the report of scientific research results, the application for circulation of NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine by Navetco Company.
Based on the research reports, thorough evaluation and appraisal by the Department of Animal Health, conclusions and proposals of ministerial-level scientific councils, the Council for circulation of veterinary vaccines has come to a conclusion: The application for circulation of the NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine by Navetco Company fully meets the requirements to be granted a Commercial Certificate in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Veterinary Medicine and guiding documents.
The successful production of a commercial vaccine against African swine fever is considered a monumental event by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Therefore, the Ministry has directed the Department of Animal Health to assume prime responsibility, and coordinate with relevant agencies to: Issue a certificate of circulation for the Navetco Company's NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine according to regulations; monitor the quality of NAVET-ASFVAC vaccines (under the criteria of sterility, safety and effectiveness by toxic stress method) of 10 consecutively produced batches of vaccines; monitor the use of NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine after commercial authorization.
The registration and licensing of vaccines circulation used in veterinary medicine must comply with the provisions of the Law on Veterinary Medicine and other current regulations. However, because NAVET-ASFVAC is the first vaccine to be produced commercially in the world, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development directed the Department of Animal Health and related agencies to monitor the use of this vaccine in 2 phases.
Mr. Nguyen Van Long, Acting Director of the Department of Animal Health, said that phase 1 will see the use of NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine in a narrow area. The estimated number of vaccines allowed is 600,000 doses. The vaccines will be used in provinces, cities, for businesses and livestock farmers wishing to voluntarily register to use the NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine.
Regarding phase 2, after the report on phase 1 vaccine evaluation, the Department of Animal Health will report to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to direct the use of the vaccine on a national scale.
The African swine fever is currently still rampant in Vietnam and many countries around the world, and no country has announced successful production of a commercial vaccine. Therefore, the export potential of "Made in Vietnam" ASF vaccine is promising.
“When ASF was created in Vietnam, the Secretariat, the National Assembly, the Government and the Prime Minister have directed drastic and synchronous implementation of solutions to produce vaccines and we were very quick to access research achievements by the United States, along with the active participation of state management agencies, domestic scientists and pioneering businesses with sufficient potential and experience in the production of veterinary vaccines; serious investments were made to successfully research and produce vaccines, including: Navetco Company, AVAC Company Limited, Dabaco Group Joint Stock Company", Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien said.
“The results of research and production of the NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine by Navetco Company, after thorough evaluation by independent scientists, have been accepted and published in prestigious scientific journals around the world and Journal of Veterinary Science of Vietnam. The Agricultural Research Institute under the US Ministry of Agriculture sent an official letter on May 17 to the Department of Animal Health of Vietnam certifying that the NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine is safe and effective" said Mr. Nguyen Van Long.
Translated by Nguyen Hai Long
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