Humanitarian Resource Institute:  A U.S. & International Resource on the Scope of Humanitarian Assistance

January 27, 2002

Stephen M. Apatow
Director of International Research and Development 
Humanitarian Resource Institute Biodefense Reference Library
Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Center
Eastern USA: (203) 668-0282   Western USA: (775) 884-4680


The recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the UK, index case to restoration of FMD Free Status, encompassed 9124 affected premises with approximately 10,849,000 animals culled.  FMD rapidly spread to several European countries including the Netherlands which implemented an emergency vaccination strategy that contributed to the control, elimination of the disease and rapid restoration of meat exports in Europe.

Emergency vaccine is a high-potency preparation designed to elicit a rapid immune response. Animals vaccinated with emergency vaccine are protected within about 4 days of vaccination, which protection lasts about 6 months. Emergency vaccines may be used in a 'ring' or 'protective' vaccination programme (susceptible animals on holdings around an outbreak are vaccinated to protect them against aerosol infection), or 'dampening down'. 'Dampening down' is the vaccination of a chosen group of animals at risk from an outbreak.

Ring or a protective' vaccination programme can be implemented to: 

(1) Decrease the number of infections and thus the production of large quantities of virus particles and shedding  into an environment where they can infect other animals. 

(2) Protect susceptible animals and  'dampening down' to reduce virus spread by reducing the number of susceptible animals, assisting a pre-emptive slaughter policy in places where poor infrastructure, inadequate manpower, delayed stamping out or other factors resulted in insufficient capacity to dispose of carcasses, and to reduce the severity of direct economic losses from the outbreak.


As noted in the Technical review of diagnostics and vaccines as a tool in the prevention of FMD. Kris De Clercq Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Groeselenberg 99, B-1180 Brussels (Ukkel), Belgium.
Chairman FAO EUFMD Research Group, Rome:

In the last two decades several vaccinating countries have gradually moved toward a non-vaccination strategy supplemented with emergency vaccination. Whilst these countries rely primarily on slaughter, movement restrictions and zoosanitary measures for control, such vaccination will offer supportive measures in case an outbreak becomes more extensive. This emergency vaccination can be done as a ring–region-country protective vaccination at a certain distance around the FMD herd to protect the animals or as a suppressive vaccination in the very close proximity of and towards the FMD herd for damping down the virus excretion and spread. In both cases the vaccinated animals can be left to live and to enter the internal country food chain or can be culled and destroyed. For controlling a serious outbreak vaccination will always have to be supplemented by strict movement controls of animals and humans (Garland, 1999). A national ‘stand still’ is highly recommended until the index case is found.
Vaccination: Papers and Recent Presentations

Foot-and Mouth Disease Vaccine Use Model: (Belfrage, Corso, Norden, Disney, Schoenbaum): Previous outbreaks of FMD in the United States have been eliminated by destroying the affected herds and burying the carcasses (stamping out). In today's political climate and environmental awareness, this kind of activity may not be easily accomplished especially if there are massive numbers of animals affected. Economically, stamping out may not be the best control or elimination method. New trade agreements allow for sectioning off portions of countries into affected and non-affected regions. Therefore, at the request of the North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, we have examined the costs and benefits of vaccine use in comparison to stamping out without vaccine use.

Papers presented on vaccination at the International Conference on Prevention and Control of Foot and Mouth Disease, 12 - 13 December 2001, Charlemagne - Bruxelles

In The News:
  • January 22, 2002 (Xinhua News Agency) Uruguay to Undertake Massive Vaccination Against Foot-and-mouth  Uruguay will undertake a massive vaccination beginning in February against the foot-and-mouth disease occurring throughout its territory, the Agriculture and Fishing

  • Ministry announced Tuesday.  Vaccines, imported from Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, have been in
    circulation since Tuesday to prepare for the immunization campaign, which will cover 11 million cows, the ministry said. 
  • January 17, 2002 (South American Business Information): Vaccination against foot and mouth disease reaches 95% of the herd  The vaccination campaign against the foot and mouth disease in 14 Brazilian

  • states reaching 95% of the herd, had been concluded. The drugs and pharmaceuticals industry currently have 20mil doses available for a monthly production of 25mil and 35mil doses.
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