TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Upon the arrival of 180,000 lumpy skin disease vaccine doses from South Africa, Taiwanese officials expressed confidence Friday (April 23) the nation's cattle outbreak could be contained within two weeks.
On April 15, new cases of the disease, which does not pose a threat to humans, were found in the New Taipei City district of Linkou. An emergency center launched an inoculation campaign and ordered an additional 180,000 doses from a vaccine bank in South Africa, CNA reported.
The process took only one week, with the vaccines arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Thursday (April 22) night, said Council of Agriculture (COA) Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城).
Inoculation could be completed by April 28, just two weeks after the outbreak of the disease, Huang said. On Friday morning, the southern regions of Pingtung County and Tainan City had received the necessary doses, he added.
The experience of fighting lumpy skin disease on the outlying island of Kinmen last August has played a positive part in this month’s operations, Huang mentioned. The vaccination campaign is likely to safeguard the survival of the nation's beef industry, valued at NT$14 billion (US$497 million).
Officials said they must wait until May 8 to see whether the measures are effective. While lumpy skin variants found in Linkou and Kinmen are the same as those in China, it is not yet possible to find the origin of the latest outbreak.