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European countries order 665,000 bird flu vaccine doses

European countries order 665,000 bird flu vaccine doses
The risk of bird flu to the population is currently considered low.

The Brussels authority announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached with a British company. The vaccine is intended for people who are at particularly high risk of contact with bird flu, such as poultry farm employees or veterinarians.

  • Also read: First human death worldwide from bird flu virus H5N2

“The aim is to prevent the spread or possible outbreaks of bird flu in Europe and to protect citizens and their livelihoods,” said the EU Commission. Germany is not currently participating in this joint vaccine procurement. According to the EU Commission, Denmark, Latvia, France, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Greece and Ireland are participating. The non-EU states Iceland and Norway are also participating.

Currently low risk

According to the contract now signed, an additional 40 million doses can be ordered over the next four years. The Commission stressed that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) currently considers the risk of bird flu to the population to be low. For people who work with or are exposed to infected birds and mammals, the risk is considered low to moderate. “However, some variants can develop mutations that increase their potential to infect other species, including humans.”

Like the flu in humans, bird flu or avian influenza is caused by influenza A viruses, but by different subtypes. The largest wave of bird flu ever documented is currently raging. The pathogen mainly affects birds, but has also been found in many mammals, including cats, bears and seals.

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Source: Nachrichten

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