Vietnam claims ASF vaccine ‘soon’

Vietnam has had initial success in creating a vaccine to fight African swine fever, which has prompted the culling of around 10% of its pig herd.

Reuters reported that ASF was first detected in Vietnam in February and has spread to farms in 61 of the country’s 63 provinces.

More than 2.9 million pigs have been culled in Vietnam, Agriculture Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said out of a hog population of about 30 million.

“I think we’re on the right track, and we will soon have a vaccine,” Cuong said, according to the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

The vaccine, developed at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture, has been tested in its laboratory and at three farms in northern Vietnam, state broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV) said in a separate report.

Reuters reported that experts on vaccines and ASF are sceptical over the claims of progress and said there needed to be much more research to prove the viability of any vaccine.

Dirk Pfeiffer, a professor of veterinary epidemiology at the City University of Hong Kong, said: “We need different phases of clinical trials, first in an experimental setting with controlled exposure, and then a field trial with natural exposure to the virus, and that cannot be a small trial.”

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