Ag chief seeks early shipment of vaccine
Atlanta - Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin would like to "move up in line" to receive the USDA-approved vaccine for West Nile Virus, following confirmation of the virus in a horse in the state.
"We have contacted the manufacturer to see if we can be moved up in line," says Irvin. "The vaccine was not expected to be widely available until after the first of the year."
Since his original request, Irvin says his state was placed on the "high priority" list to receive the new vaccine, which is now expected to be available in limited rounds. The first round will be released in mid-September.
Tests confirmed in mid-August that a 30-year-old mare that died in Georgia in early August was infected with WNV. Later in the month, a second horse tested positive for the virus.
For more information about WNV and animal health, visit the Web sites of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services at www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/wnv/index.html, the Georgia Department of Human Resources at http://www.dhr.state.ga.us, and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association at http://www.gvma.net.