Canada to Establish Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank
Today, during the annual conference of Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture, a significant commitment was made to address animal disease outbreaks through the establishment of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank in Canada. Budget 2023 has allotted $57.5 million over 5 years, with an additional $5.6 million for ongoing support, to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the creation of an FMD Vaccine Bank and the development of FMD response plans.
The funding will ensure that Canada has a dedicated source of vaccines to support the CFIA and the industry in the event of an outbreak. This vaccine bank will be a valuable tool to aid in the prevention and management of animal diseases, helping to control the spread of diseases during an outbreak. This investment complements Canada’s existing access to vaccines through the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank (NAFMDVB), ensuring readily available vaccines for Canadian producers.
The new FMD Vaccine Bank in Canada will consist of concentrated FMD vaccines that can be quickly and cost-effectively transformed into usable vaccines. Vaccines are a crucial component of an effective and efficient disease response, as they will bolster public confidence in the Canadian food supply, minimize the economic impact on Canadian producers, and mitigate any prolonged market disruptions.
At the annual FPT conference, Ministers focused on optimizing the benefit for Canada, ensuring proportional contribution, supporting sector resiliency, fostering cross-sector collaboration, and remaining forward-looking and innovative. These guiding principles will lay the foundation for the successful establishment and operation of Canada’s FMD vaccine bank.
In the fall of 2023, the CFIA will launch a transparent and competitive procurement process to establish Canada’s FMD Vaccine Bank, ensuring that the initiative is carried out with utmost integrity and efficiency.
Moreover, Canadian agricultural ministers recently reaffirmed their commitment to respond promptly to animal disease outbreaks by establishing the FMD vaccine bank. Budget 2023 has provided $57.5 million over 5 years, with an additional $5.6 million for ongoing support, to the CFIA, aiming to create the FMD Vaccine Bank for Canada and develop response plans for FMD outbreaks.
This funding will enable Canada to have a dedicated vaccine source to support the CFIA and the industry in times of outbreaks. The bank will serve as another crucial tool in the fight against animal diseases, effectively preventing their spread during an outbreak. Additionally, this investment complements Canada’s existing access to vaccines through the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank (NAFMDVB), securing a readily available vaccine supply for Canadian producers.
The new FMD Vaccine Bank in Canada will consist of concentrated FMD vaccines, which can be swiftly converted into usable vaccines in a timely and cost-effective manner. These vaccines will play a vital role in an efficient disease response, bolstering public trust in the Canadian food supply, minimizing economic consequences for Canadian producers, and mitigating long-lasting trade disruptions.
During the conference, Ministers actively discussed the guiding principles for Canada’s FMD vaccine bank. Their focus included optimizing benefits for Canada, ensuring proportional contributions, supporting sector resiliency, fostering collaboration across sectors, and maintaining a forward-looking and innovative approach. These principles will be essential in shaping the FMD vaccine bank to fulfill its purpose effectively.
Looking ahead, the CFIA is committed to launching a transparent and competitive procurement process in fall 2023 to establish Canada’s FMD Vaccine Bank. This approach will ensure that the bank operates with the utmost transparency, adhering to best practices in the industry.
In another significant development, the government received a grant worth over nine million dollars from Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) to expedite COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution among high-priority risk groups in Nigeria. The grant will be implemented in 15 states with the lowest vaccination coverage, including Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Katsina, Kebbi, Anambra, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, and Ondo.
The grant aims to address inequities in service delivery and disparities in gender within these states, with a specific focus on community engagement. It will enable the WHO Nigeria country office to provide technical support, strengthening health systems, data management, surveillance, and demand generation for COVID-19 vaccines integrated with routine immunization and other primary healthcare services through the Transforming African Surveillance Systems (TASS) Flagship initiative.
While Nigeria has made commendable progress in COVID-19 vaccination, there is still work to be done, especially in vulnerable populations, such as the aged, people with co-morbidities, health workers, and those living in humanitarian and security compromised communities. The WHO, in collaboration with partners, will continue supporting the Nigerian government to protect the vulnerable population and strengthen health systems in preparedness and response efforts.
The grant launch, attended by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to sustaining and improving COVID-19 and routine immunization performance and enhancing public confidence and demand for vaccines.
This project is a testament to Canada’s historical institutional relationship with the WHO, supporting Nigeria’s efforts in disease prevention and protecting vulnerable populations. Even though COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency, efforts to reinforce public health systems and link vaccination with routine immunization and other services remain crucial for a sustainable recovery.
With the WHO’s implementation of the CanGIVE grant in Nigeria, a total of seven countries will benefit, with Nigeria receiving the largest share of $9 million Canadian Dollars. This project marks another step forward in strengthening Nigeria’s healthcare system, improving vaccine delivery, and safeguarding the health of its citizens.
In summary, Canada’s establishment of the FMD Vaccine Bank demonstrates the nation’s proactive approach to animal disease outbreaks. With dedicated funding and a focus on optimizing benefits, collaboration, and innovation, the bank will significantly contribute to Canada’s animal disease prevention efforts. Meanwhile, the CanGIVE grant reinforces Canada’s commitment to supporting global vaccination efforts, with Nigeria as a significant beneficiary. This grant will help address vaccination disparities and strengthen Nigeria’s health systems, ensuring a sustainable and equitable vaccine distribution process.