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Eighteen Months From a Bird Flu Vaccine

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the United States is 18 months away from a vaccine for bird flu. That news comes as more than 81 million U.S. poultry and aquatic birds have been killed by avian flu across 47 states since January 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. has found bird flu this year in eight commercial flocks and 14 backyard flocks so far, affecting 530,000 poultry. During a Congressional hearing, Vilsack said, “We’re probably 18 months away from being able to identify a vaccine that would be effective for the particular flu we’re dealing with now.” Forth News says the USDA plans to discuss poultry vaccinations with trading partners amid concerns that other countries could restrict imports of vaccinated U.S. poultry.

In May, the World Organization for Animal Health said governments should consider flu vaccines in their poultry to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

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