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USDA invests $27.1 million in foot-and-mouth disease vaccine

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will invest $27.1 million in a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, which would be used in the event of an outbreak to protect animals and help stop the spread of disease.

“While we are confident we can keep foot-and-mouth disease out of the country, as we have since 1929, having access to a vaccine is an important insurance policy,” said Marketing and Regulatory Programs Undersecretary Greg Ibach. “Vaccines could be an important tool in the event of an incursion of the disease in the U.S, but their use will depend on the circumstances of the incursion and require careful coordination with the affected animal industries.”  

Vaccination helps control the spread of infection by reducing the amount of virus shed by animals and by controlling clinical signs of illness. While an outbreak would temporarily disrupt international markets, vaccination would allow animals to move through domestic production channels. Foot-and-mouth disease is not a threat to public health or food safety. 

The new U.S.-only vaccine bank — the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB) — makes a much larger number of vaccine doses available than through the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank. The NAVVCB is one component of a three-part program established by the 2018 Farm Bill to comprehensively support animal disease prevention and management. APHIS will continue to participate in the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, and this new program adds to the nation’s level of protection against this devastating disease.

In the event of an outbreak, animal health officials would decide when, where, and how to use the available vaccine, based on the circumstances of the outbreak.

More information about these programs is available at aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/farmbill.

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