Cargill to Administer Vaccines to Sow Herd for H1N1

Cargill is hoping a shipment of vaccinations will arrive in time to treat the company’s sow herd against H1N1, according to Meatingplace.

Cargill spokesman Mark Klein said the H1N1 vaccine would be administered to Cargill’s 120,000 pigs as part of the company’s semiannual vaccination program in mid-December. The company should know later this month whether the H1N1 vaccine would be available in time.

“The mothers can then pass on some immunity to the offspring,” Klein said in an e-mail. “While we have good biosecurity at our sow farms, some people can have H1N1 24 hours before showing symptoms. Except for high risk groups, H1N1 doesn’t seem to be more virulent than the seasonal human flu, but few people have natural immunity to it and so more people are getting sick.”

USDA has said the vaccine should be available by the end of the year. The agency has been encouraging hog producers to vaccinate their animals against H1N1, though its spread has been more prevalent in humans than in hogs. While H1N1 has been passed from humans to hogs, there are no reports of the virus spreading from hogs to humans.

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