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OIE provides Togo with 1, 000, 000 doses of H5N1 AI vaccines for poultry protection off its AI vaccine bank for developing and in-transition countries

Paris, July 4th 2007 - The OIE provided Togo with 1, 000, 000 doses of AI vaccines off its vaccine bank for protecting adult poultry against the H5N1 Avian influenza strain , immediately following the confirmation of a first outbreak in this country.

This delivery comes as a result of the OIE partnership with donors to the OIE World Animal Health and Welfare Fund and the financial support of Canada via the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Since its inception in May 2006, the vaccine bank also delivered 20, 300, 000 vaccines to African countries: Egypt (14 million doses), Mali (1 million), Mauritania and Ghana (2 million), Senegal (1 million) and Mauritius (300,000) within the OIE/ Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources of the African Union (AU-IBAR) partnership, with the financial support of the European Commission (EC) and of Canada.

The OIE initially established the virtual vaccine bank for African countries and rapidly assisting infected countries vaccinate poultry populations at risk. Countries free of infection but wishing to count with a strategic stock can also appeal to it. A strategic stock can be used by a country in case of a durable negative evolution of the situation.

The bank is not entirely reliant on physical stocks of vaccines but also on commitments from the supplier to deliver vaccines when needed. This avoids vaccines loss due to lapsing expiry dates.

The supplier was selected by the OIE through an international call for tender based on the quality of the product, the price and quickness of the shipments. It answers all quality standards required and recommended for in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code .

The OIE has succeeded in maintaining and extending this virtual AI Vaccine Bank to other regions of the world. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has already confirmed a financial participation to this global project for three years (2007-2009).

More contributions will allow more active support from the OIE to vaccination programmes in countries where the permanent circulation of the virus makes vaccination policies an essential tool in the control of the disease.

Vaccines should be produced according to the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and vaccines for Terrestrial Animals and evidence should be provided that the vaccine significantly reduces virus excretion from vaccinated birds if they are subsequently infected.

Vaccines should be selected on the basis of evidence that the product is able to prevent virus circulation in the target species. It is desirable that the quality control tests associated with this degree of efficacy are reflected in individual batch documentation. It is of paramount importance to respect a cold chain (4-8° C) during storage and transport of vaccines.

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