Prevention is better than a cure: delivering quality vaccines to stop the spread of animal diseases

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Paris, 20 April 2022 – Amongst the many challenges facing animal health, preventing animal diseases is a core mission of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Immunising animals against diseases thanks to vaccination, when vaccines exist, is the best preventive method to stop their spread. Vaccination has even led to the full eradication of Rinderpest, once a deadly livestock disease. Well aware of the severe health and socio-economic consequences animal diseases can have, the OIE, along with partners and donors, has made a goal to deliver high-quality animal vaccines to countries in need, by setting up vaccine banks.  

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. This could not be truer, as we have to tackle several animal disease epidemics throughout the world, with devastating impacts, not only on animal health, but also on livelihoods, food security, international trade, and sometimes on human health. Vaccine-preventable diseases such as rabies, peste des petits ruminants (PPR) or foot and mouth disease (FMD) can be contained since we have a tool to stop them: vaccination.  

Animal vaccination against the main livestock diseases is used with the aim of fighting diseases to improve the living conditions of breeders, supply the population with animal products and fight against poverty.

Dr Idriss Oumar Alfaroukh, PRAPS Coordinator

However, implementing effective animal vaccination campaigns can be challenging. Having the resources to purchase and deliver quality vaccines, sometimes in remote areas, while respecting storage and transportation factors to keep the vaccines properties, can be difficult.   

This is why the OIE, with the support of donors and partners, has set up vaccine banks for several diseases. Since the creation of its first vaccine bank to control avian influenza in 2006, the OIE has helped its Members in addressing several animal diseases. The OIE vaccine banks allow the delivery of high-quality vaccines complying with OIE International Standards in a timely manner and at a pre-established low and fixed price. Because vaccines are dispatched safely and rapidly, the beneficiary countries can focus on other essential aspects of their national disease strategies, such as raising awareness, training vaccinators or improving biosecurity measures, etc.  

As of December 2021, the OIE vaccine banks have enabled the delivery of a significant amount of doses against rabies, FMD and PPR.  

In 2021, the FMD vaccine bank was closed. As of January 2022, the rabies and PPR vaccine banks remain active.  

For more information on how our vaccine banks work, you can visit our website.