The Minister of Agriculture, Christian DeGraaff, has told Parliament that it is not cost effective to use purified FMD vaccinations in Ngamiland since the ongoing outbreaks can be controlled by the use of conventional FMD vaccine.
DeGraaff was answering a question from Member of Parliament for Maun North, Frank Ramsden, who had asked him whether the Botswana Vaccine Institute was manufacturing purified FMD vaccines and exporting them to other countries because of its effectiveness. If, DeGraaff wanted to know why the same vaccines being exported are not being used in Ngamiland, which has had outbreaks of FMD since 2007.
The Minister also said that it should be noted that convectional and purified vaccines have the same effectiveness hence, currently, “it is cost effective to use conventional vaccine to control the ongoing outbreaks due to the high frequency of vaccinations”.
He further explained that the use of purified vaccine in Ngamiland will be considered at a later stage to enable the detection of animals infected with natural infection, under field conditions in areas where vaccination is currently being carried out to enable assessment of FMD situation and status.
When answering a similar question on FMD from Member of Parliament for Chobe, Gibson Nshimwe, who had asked him whether it is true that the purified vaccine used for the treatment of FMD for cattle in zone 6 and 7 cannot be used to treat cattle in Chobe district, DeGraaff said: “Where field virus circulation is obvious, as is the case in Chobe areas where cattle and buffalo mix regularly, it is not advisable to use purified vaccine.”
He hoped that as the disease situation improves in some parts of Ngamiland in protection zones of 2d, Nata (zone 3b) and in Chobe, his Ministry would consider using purified vaccine with a view of upgrading the FMD status in those areas.