The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) this week published a “sources-sought” notice regarding foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccine, as part of its FMD preparedness activities. APHIS has held extensive conversations with livestock producers and related industries while developing our FMD preparedness plans. During these discussions, everyone involved recognized there is an increased need for a steady vaccine supply to combat this devastating disease should it enter the country.
To address moderate or large-scale FMD outbreaks, APHIS is prepared to use vaccine to protect cows, pigs, sheep and goats in affected states. Vaccinated animals will be allowed to live out their useful lives. This ensures continued production and maintains the domestic food supply. A sufficient supply of stored vaccine will be necessary for this strategy to be effective. APHIS would like to have a minimum of 25 million doses for each of the 10 high-risk strains available. Over the coming years, APHIS is looking to incrementally increase the amount of stored FMD vaccine that is readily or quickly available for the agency to use should it be necessary to vaccinate.
The goal of this request for information is to identify vaccine manufacturers who can supply the types of FMD vaccine we need, in the amounts we need, in the timeframe we need. The information provided by the manufacturers will help APHIS make decisions on how to increase FMD preparedness. APHIS will also use this information to determine future budget needs to enhance the vaccine stockpile.
FMD is one of the most severe and serious diseases of livestock. It affects cows, pigs, sheep and goats. There has not been a case of FMD in the U.S. since 1929. APHIS works diligently to keep FMD out of the United States, through a series of overlapping efforts. However, APHIS must continue to assess and update its preparedness and response plans, to be ready in case the disease should appear in the future.