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Avian Influenza Vaccine Industry in China

Date:27-11-2013

Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu is a virus that infects both wild birds and poultry. It is very contagious among birds and some strains of the virus can be fatal. Human contraction of the avian influenza virus is a result of contact with fluids from infected birds or handling of dead infected birds. As people are susceptible to contract this virus, vaccines have been developed to immunize the poultry. In China, avian influenza A viruses, subtypes H9N2 and H5N1 are endemic to poultry and have often infected humans. This has affected the Chinese poultry industry and the industry is incurring heavy losses. In China, government conducts compulsory immunization against highly pathogenic avian influenza. This compulsory immunization has been issued by Ministry of Agriculture of China under the National Compulsory Immunization Plan of Animal Epidemic Diseases 2013. This has resulted in the growth of avian influenza vaccine in China.

In 2012, the Chinese avian influenza vaccine market was valued around 1 billion yuan. China is one of the largest poultry producing nations in the world. As the majority of poultry are bred in small-scale or medium-scale farms that are not equipped with biosecurity practices, it is challenging to eradicate infectious diseases such as avian influenza. Although many countries have chosen to cull all infected poultry to control avian influenza, China has adopted the vaccination strategy to control avain influenza in poultry. This has resulted in the growth of the avian influenza vaccine industry in China.

The use of avian influenza vaccines is not new in China. More than 10 years ago, some poultry raising farms voluntarily used H5N1 avian influenza vaccine on their poultry. Initially, when the avian influenza vaccine industry had just started in China, there were some issues with the vaccines that frequently cropped up. To resolve these issues, the government set up an entry barrier in the avian influenza vaccine producing market and tightly monitored it. The government also established stringent policies on both the production and sales of avian influenza vaccines. To ensure high-quality, avian influenza vaccines must be produced in workshops that follow Good Manufacturing Practices and they must also be inspected every year.

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