19 July 2002

Government told to take a lead on vaccine research

THE governments long-term goal should be to develop a vaccine that gives stock lifelong immunity against all foot-and-mouth strains.

Although the Royal Society report recommended that routine vaccination for F&M was not needed – for now – it urged the government to take the lead in developing an international programme of research aimed at an improved vaccine that would permit routine and global vaccination of livestock.

Disease control

The report said that vaccination should be considered to be a heightened level of security, not a sign of inadequate disease control policies.

It also pointed out that developing a vaccine should not be too much of a problem because it had already been done for many other viruses. Report authors estimated the work could take between 10 and 15 years to complete. &#42