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Joelle Hayden (301) 734-0595
Lyndsay Cole (970) 494-7410

North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank Provides Vaccine to the Republic of Korea

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2011 – The North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, administered jointly by commissioners from the United States, Canada and Mexico, is providing the Republic of Korea with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine needed to assist the country with its ongoing FMD outbreak.  The vaccine bank will provide the antigen needed to manufacture 2.5 million doses of vaccine to vaccinate pigs and cattle in the Republic of Korea.

“Through the vaccine bank, the United States, Canada and Mexico have the capacity to assist other countries who are dealing with an FMD outbreak with vaccine antigen to produce additional doses of vaccine,” said John Clifford, Chief Veterinary Officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and one of the commissioners of the vaccine bank.  “The Republic of Korea asked for our help in order to stop the spread of FMD in the country, and the three commissioners agreed to assist them.”

“This contribution demonstrates our collective commitment to protecting animal health—both here at home and abroad,” said Brian Evans, Chief Veterinary Officer and Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada. “We recognize that addressing the emergence of diseases at their source is an important element of global security and such international collaboration directly contributes to our North American pre-border disease prevention efforts.”

The Republic of Korea is already vaccinating animals with vaccine they’ve purchased, but needs additional doses in order to facilitate emergency blanket vaccination.  They requested assistance from the North American vaccine bank in order to facilitate the blanket vaccination and limit the need for large-scale animal depopulation.

The North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank maintains a supply of vaccine antigen for this particular strain of the disease as a contingency to address an outbreak in North America, if required.  Inventory levels will return to full supply by the end of the year at the latest.

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