Vaccination against Lumpy Skin Disease at sluggish pace as only goat pox vaccine allowed
Scientists say that the country requires about 200mn doses of vaccine and hence vaccination should be accelerated. The government has so far granted permission only for goat pox vaccine, having merely two manufacturers in the country, to be administered to the cattle as protection against LSD. Similarly effective sheep pox vaccine, which has about a dozen manufacturers, has not been allowed. Granting permission for sheep pox vaccine may accelerate the vaccination process to protect the cattle against LSD through better vaccine availability.
There is no cure for Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), which has spread across 12 states in the country like an epidemic. Only vaccination can prevent it. Scientists say that the country requires about 200mn doses of vaccine and hence vaccination should be accelerated.
The government has so far granted permission only for goat pox vaccine, having merely two manufacturers in the country, to be administered to the cattle as protection against LSD. Similarly effective sheep pox vaccine, which has about a dozen manufacturers, has not been allowed. Granting permission for the sheep pox vaccine may accelerate the vaccination process to protect the cattle against LSD through better vaccine availability. Also, as a third alternative, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed the Lumpi-ProVacInd vaccine that provides 100 per cent protection against LSD, but the statutory process of its approval is yet to be completed. However, experts say that it should be granted emergency approval as had been done in the case of the Covid-19 vaccine.
A senior ICAR scientist told Rural Voice that goat pox vaccine and sheep pox vaccine gave equal protection against LSD. Both of them are heterologous vaccines. Their efficacy is 60-70 per cent. The vaccine developed by ICAR is designed exclusively against LSD and is homologous, which is why it provides 100 per cent protection. Goat Pox Virus (GPV), Sheep Pox Virus (SPV) and LSD Virus — all the three viruses belong to the same capripoxvirus genus and are quite close genetically. Thus, as long as the Lumpi-ProVacInd vaccine is not available, it would be better if the sheep pox vaccine is also allowed to be administered along with the goat pox vaccine. The permission for vaccines is granted by the Commissioner, Animal Husbandry (CAH).
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala had released the Lumpi-ProVacInd vaccine against LSD on 10 August 2022. But it has not been granted permission for emergency approval yet. Rural Voice had published a detailed report on September 3 as to how the vaccine was developed. You may access the report at the following link: https://eng.ruralvoice.in/latest-news-24/commercial-production-of-indigenous-lsd-vaccine-to-start-in-4-5-months.html
The goat pox vaccine is being manufactured only by Hester Biosciences Ltd, Ahmedabad, and Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad. The availability of this vaccine is, therefore, limited and this is why the pace of vaccination has not been fast despite cattle being affected with LSD on a large scale. On the other hand, the sheep pox vaccine has about a dozen manufacturers. These include Hester Biosciences Ltd, Ahmedabad; Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad; Biomed Pvt Ltd, Ghaziabad; Veterinary Biologicals and Research Institute, Hyderabad; IAHVB, Bengaluru; Brilliant Biopharma Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad; Biological Products Division, IVRI, Izatnagar, Bareilly; Haryana Veterinary Vaccine Institute (HVVI), Hisar; State Veterinary Biologicals J&K; Creative Biolabs, Hyderabad; and State Veterinary Biologicals Madhya Pradesh.
Experts say that the goat pox vaccine and sheep pox vaccine are both equally effective in protecting cattle against LSD. Given this fact, it is the need of the hour to grant permission to both these vaccines in view of the scale on which cattle are affected by LSD.
LSD had begun to spread in the country in May and June. The disease first took Gujarat in its grip and then Rajasthan. It has now spread to a dozen states. According to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), about 50,000 cattle had died of LSD up to 31 August 2022. Rural Voice had published a report in this regard on September 2 that may be accessed at the following link: https://eng.ruralvoice.in/national-23/12-states-affected-by-lumpy-skin-disease-about-50000-cattle-dead-but-states-yet-to-declare-it-pandemic.html