FMD Task Force urges regions to prioritize first dose vaccination


It is targeted that in the next six months, FMD cases can be reduced

Jakarta Head of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Task Force, Lieutenant General Suharyanto, urged the regional task forces to focus on the first dose of FMD vaccination.

"Let us focus on the existing vaccine stock for the first vaccination dose. There is a gap period between the first and second vaccine of around four to eight weeks. However, we must focus on the first vaccination," Suharyanto stated during a coordination meeting on FMD handling with the Government of West Java as quoted from a press statement received here, Saturday.

He later remarked that the vaccine stocks for FMD were still limited, with around three million doses allocated for regions. Hence, he suggested each region to implement a priority scale for livestock that are going to be vaccinated.

In West Java, FMD transmission mostly hit cattle and buffalo. Vaccination is expected to focus on cattle and buffalo and other livestock, such as sheep or goats, which will be vaccinated after the vaccine stock is sufficient.

He also reminded that the impact of the FMD outbreak must be taken seriously since it could cause significant economic losses reaching trillions of rupiah.

"It is targeted that in the next six months, FMD cases can be reduced. Of course, it will take time to vaccinate all livestock, but we hope it would be completed by 2023 in West Java," he remarked.

During the coordination meeting, Suharyanto also reminded of the importance of implementing the four strategies of biosecurity, treatment, vaccination, and conditional slaughtering for eradicating FMD.

To increase effectiveness of the four strategies, testing is also conducted as a preventive measure to prevent the spread of FMD, he stated.

Currently, testing being conducted is still based on clinical symptoms, but the government has planned scientific and technological testing tools, such as those conducted for testing COVID-19 through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in next week.

"If we could maximize our preventive efforts through biosecurity, we do not need vaccination. Therefore, areas that have not been exposed to FMD must be protected. One or two livestock exposed to FMD must be immediately slaughtered. If the number increases, then they should be treated," he remarked.

In order to anticipate the spread of FMD and support disease-handling efforts in West Java, the central FMD Task Force also provided logistics assistance in the form of 20,519 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), 86 units of spray equipment, 20,519 hand sanitizers, and 4,275 bottles of disinfectant.

Source: Antara News