Use of “unauthorized” Vaccine Caused H5N1 Outbreak

BHAKTAPUR: Veterinary doctors today said that use of unauthorised anti-bird flu vaccine imported from abroad could be responsible for bird flu outbreak in the Kathmandu Valley.

They claimed that evolution of Nepal-grown strain of bird flu virus was an evidence that unauthorised vaccine was behind the spread of H5N1 virus. According to the experts, bird flu virus first seen in chickens was H5N1’s 3.2 Mongolia and H5N1’s 3.1 Chinese species.

However, the latest H5N1 3.3.1.1 detected in the fowls is purely a virus strain that grew in Nepal,
and it was the result of the use of unauthorised anti-bird flu vaccine, they said.

Dr Sitalkaji Shrestha, General Secretary, Nepal Veterinary Association, said that anti-bird flu vaccine could not be used in Nepal as no such vaccine was registered with the concerned authority. He, however, said that such unauthorised vaccines were being imported. Dr Shrestha said the government had ‘given the consent at policy level’ for vaccine import after poultry entrepreneurs demanded use of it. “But the vaccines have entered Nepal illegally. The government has consented for vaccine import only at the policy level,” Dr Shrestha added.

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