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The OIE Regional Vaccine Bank for Asia provides 50,000 rabies vaccines to Laos

28 September 2012 90 years of solidarity

The OIE Regional Vaccine Bank for Asia is supported by the European Union's regional cooperation programme on highly pathogenic emerging and re-emerging diseases (HPED).

28 September 2012 : The OIE lends its support to Laos for its national rabies vaccination campaign.

This first delivery of rabies vaccines is a milestone for the OIE and the European Union in their fight against rabies in Southeast Asia. Managed by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation in Bangkok, with support from OIE headquarters in Paris, the OIE Regional Vaccine Bank for Asia supplies the vaccines needed for a dog vaccination campaign in five high-risk provinces in Laos.

This regional bank consists of vaccines manufactured in accordance with the quality standards contained in the OIE's Terrestrial Manual.

Rabies vaccination campaigns: prevention at the animal source is the most sustainable solution

In the great majority of cases, rabies is transmitted to man through bites by infected dogs.  Mass vaccination of dogs in risk zones is the method of choice, since it is the only one that can really break the disease's animal-man transmission cycle.

Key figures

  • Ideally, a vaccination campaign in an endemic zone should cover around 70% of the existing canine population.
  • According to certain estimates, the cost of rabies eradication by dog vaccination is only 10% of the cost of treatments currently given to people bitten by dogs presumed rabid.

OIE vaccine banks: availability and readiness

The creation of vaccine banks is an important development in the promotion of animal health and the global fight against the spread of transboundary animal diseases.
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Regional Rabies Vaccine Bank for Asia

The rabies vaccine bank for Asia has been operational since 2012. It is composed of injectable rabies vaccines for dogs as well as of oral vaccines for use in pilot research projects in eligible countries (only one pilot project so far).

The regional bank is managed by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation in Bangkok (Thailand) and the OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo (Japan), with support from OIE headquarters. 

Laos and Vietnam were the first beneficiary countries in 2012, with 50,000 and 200,000 doses delivered, respectively.

To date (September 2014), the OIE has delivered nearly three million doses of rabies vaccine to around ten Asian countries in order to support their national vaccination campaigns, thanks to financial support from the European Union and Australia.

Currently, the breakdown by country of rabies vaccines supplied by the OIE Regional Rabies Vaccine Bank for Asia is as follows: 500 000 doses to the Philippines in February 2013, 120 000 doses to Laos and 300 400 doses to Sri Lanka in June 2013, 200 000 doses to Bangladesh and 200 000 doses to Indonesia in July 2013, 20 000 doses to Bhutan and 200 000 doses to Myanmar in September 2013, 200 000 doses to Nepal in Octobre 2013, 500 000 doses to Vietnam in December 2013, 200 000 doses to Afghanistan in January 2014 and 300 000 additional doses to the Philippines in February 2014. The Philippines used support from the Bank to develop their own programme to eradicate rabies by the year 2016.

This first experience should serve as a model for the creation of new regional vaccine banks for other regions of the world. The model guarantees that high-quality vaccines, manufactured in accordance with OIE standards, will be available and rapidly delivered where they are needed.

Regarding the disease

Rabies is listed in the OIE Terrestrial Code (Chapter 8.12), and Member Countries are required to notify cases to the OIE.

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