The Philippines is already coordinating with the United States for the conduct of vaccine trials against African swine fever, the Department of Agriculture said Monday.
According to Maki Pulido’s report on “24 Oras,” the DA’s ASF vaccine working committee is already in talks with the United States Department of Agriculture.
The DA said the budget for the licensing agreement is also ready.
“We are communicating with the USDA. ‘Yong response ng USDA naman ay very positive. Ang tawag nila is gene deletion protocol. Kung ano ‘yong binigay sa Vietnam, ‘yon na rin mismo ang ibibigay sa atin,” Agriculture Undersecretary William Medrano said.
The DA said it aims to start the vaccine trials before the year ends.
The DA is also coordinating with the Pirbright Institute in the United Kingdom for its ASF vaccine clinical trials.
“We believe we can easily build up our capability, kasi in the past eh naka-develop na rin tayo ng anthrax vaccine eh… and we have good scientists also,” Medrano said.
Moreover, while there is still no vaccine against ASF, the DA urged hog raisers to start their repopulation program and follow biosafety protocols.
However, the Pork Producers Federation said the spread of ASF in the country will not be prevented because of the continuous importation of meat products.
“Walang green zone, green zone dito. Lahat puwedeng mapasok niyang African swine fever dahil tuloy naman ang pagpapapasok ng processed meat sa iba-ibang lugar. Ang processed meat ang nagkakalat,” Pork Producers Federation vice president Nicanor Briones said. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News