DA announces promising results in the manufacture of ASF vaccine

Published May 18, 2022, 7:23 AM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Department of Agriculture has seen significant results in the trail of the vaccines for the African Swine Fever (ASF).

DA Secretary William Dar said the ASF vaccine is part of the effort to come up with locally-made protection through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in coordination with the Universal Robina Corporation and Dr. Dachrit Nilubol of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

The trial was conducted from February to May this year.

“In the trial, no clinical signs associated with ASF disease was observed and minimal non-ASF related mortality was posted. A total of 66 percent of sample animals have detectable antibodies to the ASF virus,” said Dar.

The study, implemented at the Robina Farm in Bulacan, aimed at evaluating the safety of the vaccine and determining the ability of the vaccine to induce immune responses following vaccination.

The vaccine was subjected to trial and formulated in Thailand. It can be stored in a wide range of temperatures with a shelf life of two to six months.

“With the encouraging result of the Phase 1 of the vaccine trial, a Phase 2 is being proposed that will run from May to June 2022. This will involve actual viral challenge of vaccinated animals,” said Dar.

He added that the ASF vaccine is very important for the country’s food security amid the brewing food crisis.

Dar then cited some of the adverse effects of the ASF, saying the hog industry, particularly in Luzon, suffered a lot since 2019.

In addition, Secretary Dar expressed that if the vaccine is proven effective, he will recommend to the president the vaccination of the country’s hog population at the expense of the national government.