Vaccine for African swine fever is developed, to undergo trials

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/19 18:07:31

A glance of sows breeding piglets in the hog building Photo: Courtesy of Yangxiang

 Positive progress has been made on the development of a vaccine for African swine fever, and some applications for clinical trials have been filed and are currently under review, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Thursday.

The Harbin Veterinary Research Institute based in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, a top research institution on animal diseases, successfully developed a live vaccine against the African swine fever virus in early March, and it is reported to be "safe and effective", according to a report by Science China.

It is difficult for commercial vaccines to gain approval. According to Wei Hongyang, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, vaccines can only be commercialized when they meet certain standards in safety, effectiveness and quality. So far no country in the world, including China, has approved any vaccine for commercial application.

"We'd love to see positive progress in development, but the process cannot be rushed," Wei said.

African swine fever, which first broke out in 2018, has put great pressure on China's pork supply. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total pork output in 2019 dropped 21.3 percent year-on-year, falling by 42.55 million tons.

However, soaring pork prices as a result of the supply shortage have been resolved yet, Peng Shaozong, an official from the National Development and Reform Commission, said on Thursday. Average pork prices in most cities have fallen below 35 yuan ($4.90) per 500 grams, compared to prices of over 40 yuan per 500 grams in February, said Peng.

The stabilization of pork prices is largely thanks to frozen pork released from the national reserves, Peng said. Since the beginning of 2020, a total of 210,000 tons of frozen pork have been released into the Chinese market.


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