Vietnam Says ASF Vaccine is “Coming Soon”

Vietnam says it has had early success in creating a vaccine to fight African Swine Fever. The disease has infected farms across the Southeast Asian country and led to the culling of about 10 percent of the nation’s pig herds. The virus was first detected in Vietnam last February and has spread to farms in 61 of the 63 provinces in the country. Prior to the outbreak, Reuters says the hog herd totaled roughly 30 million animals. Since the disease was first detected, over 2.9 million pigs have been culled in Vietnam. The country’s ag minister says, “I think we’re on the right track and will soon have a vaccine.” Experts on vaccines and the disease itself were skeptical about the claims of progress. They want to see much more research to prove the viability of any potential vaccine. A professor of epidemiology tells Reuters that they need to see different phases of clinical trials, first in an experimental setting with controlled exposure, and then a field trial with natural exposure to the virus. However, a Vietnam TV report says in initial trials, 31 of 33 pigs injected with the test vaccine are still healthy after getting two shots over a period of months.