Sunday, June 23, 2024

EU Secures More Than 40 Million Bird Flu Vaccines

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By Enes Morina

The European Union ordered more than 40 million bird flu vaccines from manufacturer CSL Ltd., as governments step up efforts to prevent the potential spread of the virus to people.

The four-year contract follows the rapid spread of avian influenza at dairy farms in the U.S., after the virus jumped from infecting millions of birds over the past two years to now sickening dairy cattle, prompting fears that the disease could spread further.

The EU’s deal with CSL supplies it with 665,000 doses for 15 member states, with an option for a further 40 million doses if needed.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said the vaccine is intended for those most at risk of contracting the virus, such as poultry farm workers and veterinarians, with shipments to Finland currently being prepared.

In the U.S., more than 80 dairy herds and three dairy workers have tested positive for the virus since late March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In late May, CSL said it received a contract to deliver 4.8 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. government.

Last week, the World Health Organization said a man in Mexico, who had died two months earlier, had been infected by a strain of bird flu never found before in humans.

Australia notified the WHO in May of its first human case of the viral disease, a 2-year old child most likely infected after traveling from India. Australian health authorities last week quarantined farms in the state of Victoria, where strains of the virus has been found on five properties in the past seven weeks.

Write to Enes Morina at Enes.Morina@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-11-24 1135ET

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