Yorkshire and the Humber
Wednesday 7 May 2008 14:36
Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (Yorkshire and the Humber)
Government tender for bluetongue vaccine
Defra has today issued a tender for 13 million additional doses of Bluetongue vaccine, eight million for use in England and five million for use in Wales.
Under EU law, vaccination is only allowed in a Protection Zone. The Bluetongue vaccination plan sets out how vaccination will be rolled out and the Protection Zone expanded county by county across England, taking into account the availability of vaccine and the level of disease risk.
To that end, last year we ordered 22.5m doses of vaccine from Intervet. The first three million doses of that order were released into the Protection Zones last week, well ahead of schedule. Initial indications would suggest a high response to the early availability of vaccine and that take-up of vaccine is high.
Further batches of vaccine are being delivered by Intervet, and we will expand the Protection Zones accordingly as soon as that vaccine is available. However, in order to ensure that sufficient doses are available for vaccination to be fully rolled out across the whole country, an order for additional vaccine is required.
Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn said:
"I am pleased with the very high demand for vaccine in the first week of vaccination. The farming industry faces a real threat from Bluetongue. The best way for farmers to protect their animals and their pockets is to vaccinate all susceptible animals.
"By underwriting a further order for vaccine, I am giving farmers across the whole of England the clearest signal that there will be vaccine available as we roll out the vaccination campaign county by county. I want the whole industry to engage with this over the weeks and months ahead".
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