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Pigs die en masse after getting Vietnamese vaccine

By Bui Toan   August 24, 2022 | 08:02 pm PT
At least 100 pigs have died in the central Phu Yen Province within a week of getting a shot of an African swine fever vaccine made by a Vietnamese firm.

Le Hung Vuong, 57, a farmer in Hoa Thinh Dong Commune in Phu Hoa District, said Wednesday his family had been raising 34 pigs, including seven pregnant sows, and all were vaccinated two weeks ago.

Within a few days all lost their appetite and got a fever, skin hemorrhage and blood in the urine, and many of them subsequently died, he said.

"Before getting the shot, all of them were in normal condition."

Le Hung Vuong, stands in the pig farm of his family in Hoa Thinh Dong Commune in Phu Hoa District of Phu Yen Province, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Toan

Le Hung Vuong stands in the pig farm of his family in Hoa Thinh Dong Commune in Phu Hoa District of Phu Yen Province, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Toan

Tran Dinh Thuan, 48, another pig farmer in Hoa Dinh Dong, got 28 of her animals vaccinated the same day as Vuong. Again, within a few days, 17 of them had died and the remaining 11 fell seriously ill.

Duong Ba Truc, a veterinary official in the commune, said more than 150 pigs had got vaccines on Aug. 13 and 14.

Farmers bought the vaccines from the livestock and veterinary agency of Phu Hoa District and either inoculated their pigs themselves or sought help from veterinary officials, he said.

Nguyen Ngoc Duc, head of the agency, said a preliminary assessment showed the pigs had died because of "reaction" to the vaccination.

The vaccine used was NAVET-ASFVA produced by HCMC-based Navetco National Veterinary JSC and licensed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in May, he said.

Nguyen Van Lam, head of Phu Yen Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sub-Department, said so far, almost 600 pigs in the province have been inoculated with the vaccine. Of them, more than 100 had died at 24 farms while more than 400 others experienced adverse reactions.

The province has halted the inoculation until further notice and Navetco has sent experts to Phu Yen to investigate the deaths.

Samples taken from sick pigs will also be sent to the Department of Animal Health’s laboratories for testing.

Tran Dinh Thuan watches the pigs at her familys farm in Hoa Thinh Dong Commune in Phu Hoa District of Phu Yen Province, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Toan.

Tran Dinh Thuan watches the pigs at her family's farm in Hoa Thinh Dong Commune in Phu Hoa District of Phu Yen Province, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Toan.

Vietnam began working on an African swine fever vaccine in 2020 with the help of American experts. With NAVET-ASFVA, it became the first country to produce a vaccine against the disease, which was first detected in Africa in 1921.

An outbreak in Vietnam three years ago spread to all 63 provinces and cities within a span of seven months.

In 2021 it was found in 60 localities, causing 288,660 pigs to be culled.

The disease, which is harmless to human and fatal to pigs, has cost Vietnam over VND30 trillion (US$1.29 billion) in losses, and affected 3.5 million farmers and hundreds of businesses.

 
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