PH to wait some more for ASF vaccine

Published January 28, 2021, 5:35 PM

by Betheena Unite

The Philippines will have to wait a little longer for the rollout of the African Swine Fever (ASF) vaccine once it arrives into the country as it will have to undergo necessary processes and trials, an Agriculture official said Thursday.


Once the ASF vaccine arrives in the country, the Department of Agriculture will have to comply with all necessary actions such as licensing and preliminary trial, Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock William Medrano said during a press briefing.

“Medyo magtatagal pa ‘to nang konti kasi (It will take a little longer because) even if we get the license from USDA ito ay isa-subject pa natin sa (we will still have to subject it to) preliminary trial,” Medrano said.

The Agriculture Undersecretary stressed that all required processes must be done to ensure that the vaccine will be effective and to prevent unwanted consequences.

“Because ‘pag ‘di tayo careful, imbes na mapaganda e, mapalala pa (Because if we are not careful instead of alleviating the situation, it will further worsen),” Medrano said.

He explained that once the country settles the licensing fee with the USDA, the department will process the acquisition of the vaccine and testing will follow.

“After that we can already manufacture the vaccine. We hope we can do that this year. Soonest,” Medrano said.

At present, 12 regions are still affected with ASF. However, reported cases are decreasing, Medrano said.

Last December, the department recorded 341 cases while at present, more than 200 incidents are reported.

The department has also set aside P80 million for the development and mass production of Filipino-made test kits that can detect ASF faster and cheaper.