Eyecare Tips

Vaccinating Poultry Could Mask The Effects Of Bird Flu Spread

June 01, 2017

The United Kingdom Government said vaccinating poultry against bird flu could mask the effects of the disease and make it harder to know how it is spreading. This statement was made virtually at the same time as the European Union approved a plan by France and the Netherlands to vaccinated their poultry.

Deputy Chief Veterinarian, Fred Landeg, said "Crucially, though these vaccines protect against disease, they will not prevent birds from becoming infected and shedding virus. Because symptoms of disease would be masked, the hidden presence of disease would pose a serious problem."

Many organisations in the UK are sceptical about the effectiveness of a mass vaccination of poultry - and many are concerned about what the results could be.

A virologist wrote to blog:

"What will happen if we vaccinate all poultry, the virus still spreads, the chickens still infect, but we don't know where?"

Put simply, in Europe the current debate is as follows:

1. Do you vaccinate all your chickens? They won't get ill. But they will still be contagious, they may still carry the virus, and it could still spread. However, you will not know it is spreading.


2. Do you not vaccinate and wait and see? Take measures such as keeping poultry indoors, quarantine infected areas, cull birds in infected areas. And try to contain it that way.