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First Bird Flu Vaccine Approved

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Central Iowa based Harrisvaccines was granted conditional license of the company's vaccine for highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza. The first license granted in the nation.
They first sent a vaccine for USDA approval back in May.
The outbreak of bird flu in the spring was responsible for the depopulation of 50 million chickens and turkeys, 31 million in Iowa alone, and millions of dollars in damages.
This approval is also the first conditional license granted for an avian influenza vaccine using Harrisvaccines' SirraVax rapid response technology, which allows the company to update or change the vaccine to match future strains of the flu.
The USDA called for a solicitation to create a vaccine stockpile for avian influenza this fall.
CEO and founder of Harrisvaccines Dr. Hank Harris says, "Well, Right now in the United States, we actually can't offer it for sale. We have to wait for the government to order the vaccine from us and then create a stock pile so if the disease outbreak occurs again, producers could receive the vaccine out of that stockpile under government jurisdiction."
The approved vaccine is injected through the skin in live birds.
Harris says so far efforts to clean up the bird flu outbreak has worked, "We didn't know if the outbreak was going to continue and so the effort by the government and producers to eradicate infected birds and birds that have been exposed have clearly stopped the outbreak for now. But we didn't know if that would have continued. And if it would have then the vaccine would have been available."
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