The first FIFUR member farmers have started vaccinations against SARS-Cov2-coronavirus on Finnish farmed mink stock on their farms.
“It is great that we are now able to vaccinate animals as the first actor in the European Union after a long licensing process and after the production of vaccines”,
says Marja Tiura, Managing Director of FIFUR.
Mink vaccinations are carried out with a mink coronavirus vaccine developed in a joint project by FIFUR and a group of researchers at the University of Helsinki. A prescription-like, experimental vaccine product called “FurcoVac” was granted a conditional usage permit by the Finnish Food Authority on 22 Sep 2021. Conditional usage permit for a larger batch of vaccine was granted by the Finnish Food Authority on 20 Dec 2021. The product does not have a marketing authorisation, the applicant and the recipient of the permit is FIFUR. The vaccine project is fully funded by the fur branch in Finland and FIFUR.
“Primarily, mink will be vaccinated with just under 50,000 doses of vaccine on a risk-based selection on farms in municipalities in the fur production area where corona cases have now occurred most in humans. The aim is to be able to vaccinate all breeding mink females after the turn of the year. Each mink receives two doses and the vaccinated animals come closer to 200,000,” says Jussi Peura, Research Director of FIFUR, who is responsible for FIFUR's corona preparedness.
In mink farms, strict corona protection rules set by the authorities apply and traffic to and from the farm must be kept to a minimum. Therefore, unfortunately, FIFUR and mink producers cannot allow media access to farms to film vaccinations. Instead, FIFUR distributes images via the media service.
“Disease protection and the EU's testing programme on mink farms will continue. We must thank our member farmers and farm employees who have been able to keep up with the strict corona security measures for over 1.5 years, and the Finnish mink farms have so far not been diagnosed with corona infections in animals,” Jussi Peura thanks the producers.