DA working closely with FDA on ASF vax certification

By Ferdinand Patinio

June 26, 2023, 4:10 pm

<p><em> (File photo)</em></p>

 (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday said it is closely coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the issuance of Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) on African swine fever (ASF) vaccines from Vietnam.

In an interview at the launch of the Livestock Philippines 2023 in Quezon City on Monday, DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa said their recommendation to certify the vaccine is now with the FDA.

“We’re working closely with FDA regarding the (ASF) vaccine as they are mandated to do so,” he said.

De Mesa said they are also studying the proposal to subsidize private hog growers in availing the vaccine once it is available in the country.

“We are studying the proposal especially small backyard or small pig growers. We want to help them. It is a proposal to have a discount. We're looking at that possibility,” he said.

De Mesa said they are also looking to possibly get back the function to certify vaccines for animals.

“We are also working to the future that maybe such authority can be returned to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) if there are vaccines or other concerns related to animals,” he added.

On the other hand, BAI assistant director Arlene Vytiaco clarified that only six to 10 weeks old pigs are the ones that will be given the vaccines once it is available locally.

She made the clarification when asked how they will balance the allocated 600,000 doses of vaccines from Vietnam against the 6 million hogs in the country.

“The vaccines are for pigs 6 to 10 weeks old,” Vytiaco said.

“The 600,000 doses are only for this year. For next and the next three years, we will be provided with 1 million per year,” she added.

Under the testing policy, Vytiaco said the required number of farms where it has been tested is only three with at least 100 pigs per farm.

“It has been tested in the country of origin. We are testing it for local condition,” she added.

The BAI earlier endorsed to FDA to certify a Vietnam-made ASF vaccine for its immediate distribution in the country after its trial recorded positive results on pigs by producing antibodies.

The testing of the AVAC was conducted from March to May in six areas in Luzon. (PNA)