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Illegal bird flu vaccine use worries officials
posted by admin on 11/08/06

BANGKOK, Aug 10 (TNA) -

With the illegal use of bird flu vaccines in the kingdom confirmed, Thailand's Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry has appealed to farmers nationwide to observe the law, explaining that vaccination could reduce the effectiveness of practices to control the spread of the deadly virus.

Vice Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Charal Trinvuthipong affirmed on Wednesday the ministry has been informed about the illegal use of bird flu vaccine in poultry, mostly in egg-producing hens and free-range ducks, but it is quite impossible to conduct blood tests to prove which fowl has been vaccinated .

He appealed to farmers not to smuggle the bird flu vaccine or clandestinely use it in poultry since it can't
be officially proven that the vaccine is efficient and effective.

Dr. Charal explained that the current vaccine cannot be fully effective in preventing the H5N1 virus and the chemical substance remaining in vaccinated poultry can be released to the environment.

Even worse, he indicated, vaccination can lead to carelessness of farmers who might have contacted with dead poultry in the belief that their vaccinated dead fowls did not die from bird flu.

"Vaccination cannot kill the H5N1 virus; so the virus can continue spreading without being detected since the vaccinated fowls will not show any symptoms of bird flu," Dr. Charal added.

The ministry has ordered suppression to be stepped up against the vaccine and offenders will face harsh punishments, he said.

Meanwhile, the vice minister reiterated that there was no indication of any H5N1 virus mutations that could lead to an influenza pandemic among people in Thailand. (TNA)-E009

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