USDA Seeks FMD Vaccine Makers as Part of Precautions
March 18, 2016

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service this week announced it is looking for sources of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccines as part of preparedness efforts.

There has not been a case of FMD in the United States since 1929, but APHIS said it has held extensive conversations with livestock producers and related industries while developing FMD preparedness plans. During these discussions, everyone involved recognized there is an increased need for a steady vaccine supply to combat this devastating disease should it enter the country.

To address moderate or large-scale FMD outbreaks, APHIS said it is prepared to use vaccine to protect cattle, pigs, sheep and goats in affected states. Vaccinated animals will be allowed to live out their useful lives. This ensures continued production and maintains the domestic food supply.

A sufficient supply of stored vaccine will be necessary for this strategy to be effective. APHIS said it would like to have a minimum of 25 million doses for each of the 10 high-risk strains available. Over the coming years, APHIS is looking to incrementally increase the amount of stored FMD vaccine that is readily or quickly available for the agency to use should it be necessary to vaccinate.

The request for information aims to help APHIS identify vaccine manufacturers that can supply the desired types of FMD vaccine, in the right timeframe and quantity. The information provided by the manufacturers will help APHIS make decisions on how to increase FMD preparedness. APHIS will also use this information to determine future budget needs to enhance the vaccine stockpile.

APHIS works diligently to keep this severe disease out of the United States, through a series of overlapping efforts. However, APHIS must continue to assess and update its preparedness and response plans, to be ready in case the disease should appear in the future.