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Bluetongue Vaccine Regulations Relax

22 March 2012

EU - New rules on vaccination against Bluetongue enter into force today. These rules are expected to better prevent outbreaks and limit the economic impact of Bluetongue on farms in the EU.

The Commission welcomes the change in the rules, which would now allow for vaccination also in Bluetongue-free areas, thus allowing for preventive vaccination in areas that are at risk.

The amendment of Council Directive 2000/75/EC follows the Commission’s strategy "prevention is better than the cure" and allows more flexibility for Member States to develop national vaccination strategies for the prevention and control of Bluetongue.

Under the new rules, Member States will be able to use inactivated vaccines which are considered safer for use, since, contrary to "live vaccines", they cannot replicate.

These inactivated vaccines which have been developed over the last few years, have been the preferred tool for Bluetongue control and prevention of clinical disease in the EU.

The number of outbreaks in the EU has been decreasing steadily over the past years. This success is attributed primarily to the vaccination campaigns, using inactivated vaccines, which the EU has co-financed over the years (€150 million in 2008, and allocation of €120 million in 2009, €100 million in 2010 and €16 million in 2011).

In 2008, a total of 45,000 outbreaks were reported across the EU. That number dropped to 1,118 in 2009, 176 in 2010 and only 39 in 2011.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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