National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank

Last Modified: March 11, 2024
Two men stand in front of rows of shelving as they examine a bottle and prescription bottle that they are each holding.

For decades, U.S. animal health officials, veterinarians, and livestock industries have worried about a potential outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the United States. To address these longstanding concerns, Congress directed APHIS, through the 2018 Farm Bill, to establish the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. 

Since 2019, APHIS has invested millions of dollars to amass a stockpile of foot-and-mouth disease vaccine that dwarfs anything our Nation has had previously. This U.S.-only vaccine supply is central to the United States’ ability to respond to, control, and ultimately eliminate an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on U.S. soil.

Today, the vaccine bank:

  • Serves as the U.S. stockpile of foot-and-mouth disease vaccine and veterinary countermeasures
  • Supports critical U.S. response activities in case of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak
  • Augments vaccines and countermeasures available to the United States through the North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank and the National Veterinary Stockpile

Building the U.S. Stockpile of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine and Countermeasures

As directed by Congress, our first priority is to ensure adequate supplies of vaccine to respond to the most concerning strains of the foot-and-mouth disease virus. On the advice of our technical committee that provides scientific recommendations and oversees the vaccine bank, APHIS has invested approximately $42 million to purchase foot-and-mouth disease vaccine antigen concentrate from private companies, with another $30 million in planned purchases through fiscal year (FY) 2023. We have also purchased diagnostic kits that will enhance our ability to quickly detect and respond to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. This U.S.-only supply augments the vaccine available to this country through the North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank.

Stockpiling Vaccine and Countermeasures for Other High-Consequence Diseases

The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes APHIS to use funding set aside for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank to accumulate vaccines and countermeasures for other high-consequence diseases, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza and African swine fever. In FY 2022, APHIS purchased classical swine fever vaccine for the National Veterinary Stockpile.

Accessing Animal Vaccines and Veterinary Countermeasures

Vaccination helps control the spread of infection by reducing the amount of virus animals shed and reducing clinical signs of illness. While an outbreak would temporarily disrupt international markets, vaccination would allow animals to move through domestic production channels. APHIS will determine how and when to use vaccines from the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank based on the circumstances of the animal disease outbreak and in careful coordination with affected animal industries. APHIS will leverage the National Veterinary Stockpile infrastructure to distribute vaccines if they are needed.