BAI, FDA in tieup to accelerate vaccine testing

THE Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on Tuesday to fast-track the testing process for animal vaccines.

In a statement, the BAI said the FDA will be tasked to issue a License to Operate to manufacturers, traders and distributors, and retailers of veterinary drugs and products, including vaccines and biologics.

“This MoA will significantly strengthen our fight against transboundary animal diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF) and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. said.

Under the agreement, the BAI will conduct evaluations to determine the safety and efficacy of vaccines and biologics.

The agency will then endorse private applications to the FDA for the issuance of certificates of product registration, while also providing evaluation reports.

“We pledge to provide the necessary resources, expertise, and support to BAI as it undertakes its responsibilities under this agreement. We pledge to uphold the highest standards of quality and safety in the veterinary sector,” FDA Director General Samuel A. Zacate said.

As of May 28, the BAI reported that there are still nine provinces with active cases of ASF, with the disease present in 30 barangays.

The Department of Agriculture has said that the ASF vaccine is in the third stage of trials and is expected to be approved within the year.

On the other hand, eight provinces are still classified as affected by bird flu as of May 31. — Adrian H. Halili