ASF vaccine available soon in PH; only 1 injection needed to protect pigs

The first commercially available vaccine against African Swine Fever (ASF), a viral hog disease devastating swine industries around the world since its resurgence in 2018, will soon be available in the country with only one injection needed to protect growing pigs, a local agricultural product company said.

Pigs (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

In a recent statement, the KPP Powers Commodities Inc. (KPP Powers) disclosed that the ASF vaccine trials are expected to be completed by April 2023, a possible breakthrough amid the threat of ASF which has been causing huge losses to hog raisers in the country. The KPP Powers said it is partnering with Vietnamese manufacturer AVAC Vietnam Joint Stock Co. for the local distribution of the vaccine.

"Once infected with ASF, pigs die within a matter of days resulting in huge losses to hog farmers. In the Philippines, ASF is directly responsible for more than a 50-percent decline in the local swine population, resulting in loss of livelihoods of local hog backyard raisers, shutdown of large commercial pig farms, decline in feed mill operations and loss of revenues of allied industries with an estimated economic value of more than P100 billion a year," the KPP Powers noted.

The vaccine is being produced by AVAC in Vietnam where the vaccine underwent rigid clinical trials and field testing that were strictly monitored by the Vietnamese government, the KPP Powers stated.

According to KPP Powers Managing Director Juancho Robles, AVAC is “the only company in the world that has a commercial use ASF vaccine with a valid certificate of product registration (marketing authorization)" and the "first veterinary vaccine factory in Vietnam certified under the World Health Organization-Good Manufacturing Practices standard."

He said AVAC first received an approval for the commercialization of the vaccine in June 2022. Since then, many large commercial farms in Vietnam have been using the vaccine and have reported successful results of vaccine efficacy rates at 95 percent.

"The Vietnamese government recently reported that more than 600,000 doses of the AVAC ASF vaccine have been administered in field trials since July 2022. Because of the highly favorable results, the Vietnamese government will also start this month its own nationwide distribution of the vaccine to help local hog farmers," KPP Powers said.

The vaccine has been proven safe to use via intramuscular injection on growing pigs from four to eighteen weeks of age, with no shock or local inflammation, KPP said.

"Only one injection is necessary to protect growing pigs," it added.

In 2019, ASF resurfaced in the Philippines and has since spread across more than 3,800 barangays in 53 provinces by July 2022. Because of ASF, local pork production in the Philippines fell by almost a fourth from June to October 2021 against the comparative period in 2020.

The vaccine is currently undergoing local trials under the supervision of the Bureau of Animal Industry.