EU scientists warn against mass poultry vaccination
With cases of human-to-human transmission of the avian influenza
virus now confirmed, mass vaccination is seen as a potential way to calm
consumer fears about poultry safety. But EU scientists are warning that mass
vaccination of domestic poultry may hinder detection of the H5N1 strain of the
Mass vaccination may increase consumer confidence and
boost consumption of poultry and poultry products, which plunged by as much as
70 percent in some countries at the start of this year.
vaccination can also serve to disguise the presence of any H5N1 that manages to
survive in inoculated flocks, and thus pose a great danger, others have
So far the EU and its member countries have resisted calls
for mass vaccination of the domestic poultry stock. Limited vaccinations have
been done in areas where bird flu outbreaks have occurred.
human case of the H5N1 virus has occurred in the EU, scientists worldwide have
been worried that H5N1, which can pass from poultry to humans, may mutate so
that it can be transmitted from human to human and start an influenza
World Health Organisation (WHO) officials confirmed last
week that H5N1 had mutated slightly in a family in Indonesia, passing from a son
to his father.
Meanwhile the European Centre for Disease Prevention
and Control last week warned that vaccination programmes that are widely but
imperfectly instituted in poultry, like those in China and Indonesia, may impede
detection of human cases.
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.