Intervet International has developed a vaccine against Bluetongue serotype 8 for sheep and cattle. It is expected to be available in May.
The United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has already placed an order with Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses of the vaccine.
Just recently, the European Commission said it is making funds available to co-finance an emergency mass vaccination campaign in 2008 against Bluetongue. In principle, 100 percent of vaccine purchase costs and 50 percent of vaccine application costs will be covered by the community budget, subject to certain ceilings for operational costs.
Non-emergency vaccination campaigns in following years would be part of the community co-financed eradication programs.
Markos Kyprianou, commissioner for health, estimates that about 150 million to 200 million vaccine doses will be required.
Intervet was bought by Schering-Plough Corp. of Kenilworth, N.J., last year.