It is a new inactivated emulsion-based vaccine, called “AviFluVac”.
The vaccine was developed by scientists at the Federal Center for Animal Health (FGBI “ARRIAH”). According to Natalya Moroz, Deputy Production Director for the FGBI ARRIAH, the launch of full-scale production is scheduled for the beginning of the fall.
The AviFluVac vaccine was developed to protect flocks against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A viruses of subtype H5. However, it is based on the low-pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza type A virus, isolated in Russia.
Natalia Moroz explained that the use of antigens based on low-pathogenic influenza strains is set by the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), so the vaccine meets the international standards.
Due to the use of low-pathogenic virus strains, the vaccine is characterized by high safety, as outlined by Natalia Moroz. Among other advantages, high immunogenicity is mentioned.
It is also worth mentioning, that vaccination against highly-pathogenic avian influenza is prohibited in commercial flocks, as this may affect the zoosanitary status of the region and its export opportunities.
Vaccination against HPAI is allowed only in backyard farms, private free range poultry operations, zoological parks, and gardens.
However, Russian poultry farmers have already reached out to the Ministry of Agriculture, suggesting approval for commercial flock vaccination against HPAI as a measure to preserve the population.
Russian scientists suggest allowing such vaccination as HPAI global spread has become panzootic.
“Currently, being under severe sanctions, it is necessary to consider all possible scenarios of epizootic situation shifts. And in cases where the flu threatens food security, we must put our best effort into preserving both parent and breeding flocks. And here is when vaccination appears to be the most effective tool in maintaining biosecurity in poultry industry”, - Natalia Moroz shared her opinion.
The scientist pointed out, that the decision on vaccination strategy should be taken collaboratively by leading experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Rosselkhoznadzor, Rospotrebnadzor, and business associations. The issue is currently under consideration.