Foot-and-mouth vaccines don’t work?

Emergency vaccination scheme against foot-and-mouth disease may make no difference according to suppressed UK government report

An emergency vaccination scheme against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) may make no difference in stopping the spread of the infectious disease and may make matters worse according to a suppressed UK government report. The report carried out five years after the 1967 foot-and-mouth crisis in the UK, concluded that vaccines would have failed the spread of FMD in four-out-of-five outbreaks.

The details of the report were previously suppressed under the Officials Secrets Act and emerged as the EU's Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) gave a favourable opinion to the UK to carry out emergency vaccination of cattle in Devon and Cumbria.

Professor Martin Hugh-Jones, one of the researchers from the Ministry of Agriculture's Central Veterinary Laboratory who carried out the report, said: "Essentially we picked five outbreaks at random and we found in four cases it made no difference to the number of cases and would have just added to the problems."

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