Will it be of much significance to tackle the hazard at the earliest or will it take too long to reach the beneficiaries?
India has been wading through the menace of the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) which has currently killed about 57,000 bovines and infected around over 15.21 lakh cattle. The global concern was widely discussed during the recently held “World Dairy Summit 2022’, from 12th-15th September, with a host of speakers declaring it as a dairy exigency.
The discussion revolved around the recently launched vaccine- Lumpi-ProVacInd, an indigenous shot developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) that is currently awaiting a nod for emergency use from Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD) for the treatment of LSD. The delay is centred around the vaccine’s efficacy and its subsequent line of production. Praveen Malik, Commissioner, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), talked to AgroSpectrum India highlighting similar concerns on the outlines of the global summit. He said, “The indigenous vaccine announced recently has been unnecessarily creating a buzz and wrongly termed as a breakthrough without even going through a pilot run. It needs to be properly tested before we can see any significant results on the ground in terms of preventing or curing the disease.” “After the requisite trials, it needs to be manufactured on a large scale to distribute it to all the stakeholders, not just a fraction of the population who need it. Else, the entire purpose of producing the vaccination will be defeated. Given this outlook, the bigger question is about the companies responsible for producing the vaccination at a later stage. Also, the entire process will take a significant time before we move the needle to the next stage,” he continued.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, during the launch of the indigenous vaccine to protect livestock from the disease in August this year however shared a different outlook on the efficacy of the shot and called it a ‘milestone event’. He said that Indian scientists have undertaken limited trials in a short period and have developed a 100 per cent effective vaccine complying with all standards, which will be effective in getting rid of the disease.
During the summit, Malik also commented on the existing portfolio of vaccinations available including Goat Pox, which is the current shot being administered in India to treat the spread of the deadly disease. Elaborating on its use, Malik said, “Goat Pox has good efficacy to completely eradicate LSD from the ground in the time to come. With the continuous use of this product, India will be left with a marginal number of such cases in a month or less, just like the small number of Covid cases we see today. The vaccination also has an avoidable or no relapse rate, making it an effective remedy against the widespread disease.”
In August, around 1.53 crore cattle were vaccinated with Goat Pox with the government aiming to vaccinate the entire population in the days ahead. It is a heterologous vaccine, currently being manufactured by Hester Biosciences Ltd and Indian Immunologicals Ltd respectively.
Whether the new vaccine would help further in eradicating this disease completely, is something to be seen over time.
By Manishika Miglani
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