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Defra Orders a Batch of Bluetongue Vaccine

20 December 2007

MSD Animal Health - NYSE:MRK

UK - The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today announced that it is placing a firm order with pharmaceutical company Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses of Bluetongue vaccine.

This follows a full assessment of the three bids submitted during the tender process announced by Defra on 1 November.


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"I am pleased to announce that, following careful assessment of tenders for Bluetongue vaccine, Defra has chosen Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses."
Animal Health and Welfare Minister Jeff Rooker

Although no suitable vaccine is currently available for the strain of Bluetongue circulating in England (serotype 8), this order will ensure that vaccine will be available as early as possible next summer to control the impact of Bluetongue and ease movement restrictions on vaccinated animals.

In keeping with the principles set out in the Bluetongue Control Strategy, which was developed in partnership with the farming industry, livestock keepers will be offered the opportunity to purchase vaccine from the vaccine bank.

Animal Health and Welfare Minister Jeff Rooker said: “I am pleased to announce that, following careful assessment of tenders for Bluetongue vaccine, Defra has chosen Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses. This decision is based on consideration of technical specification and price, and I am confident that the Intervet vaccine will offer the best value and most effective option to farmers.”

Defra is urgently continuing work on developing a detailed plan with Bluetongue scientific experts, representatives of the farming industry and others as to how a vaccination programme would work. We will discuss this plan further with external scientific experts and stakeholders.

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