Eighty% of tested chickens and ducks in Vietnam have developed immunity after being vaccinated against bird flu virus strain H5N1, local newspaper Youth on Thursday February 9 quoted agriculture ministry as saying.
The tested over 10,000 fowls are part of 246 million poultry turns (each dose for a fowl being considered one turn, two doses for the same fowl regarded as two turns) were vaccinated in the first batch from August 2005 to late January, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Pilot vaccination among white-feathered ducks (looking like small geese) has produced good results, paving the way for vaccinating all flocks of the fowl, the ministry noted. Vietnam plans to start vaccinating chickens and ducks in the second batch in the coming weeks.
The ministry’s Department of Animal Health on February 8 said 21 cities and provinces nationwide, which had been hit by bird flu since early October 2005, detected no new outbreaks for at least three weeks, meeting criteria to declare their territory free of the disease.
However, Vietnam is still facing high risk of bird flu reoccurrence in February and March when cold weather and big transport and sales of poultry nationwide during the Lunar New Year Festival (between late January and early February) are favourable for the development of viruses, said the department.