Pfizer Animal Health has received USDA approval for a killed-virus swine vaccine to help protect pigs from the Novel H1N1 2009 strain of swine influenza virus. The vaccine is approved for vaccination of healthy swine 3 weeks of age or older, including pregnant sows and gilts, against SIV subtype H1N1.

Pfizer became the first U.S. biologics manufacturer to receive a USDA conditional license for this new vaccine. Earlier this year, USDA provided a master seed of the Novel H1N1 2009 influenza virus strain to multiple manufacturers in anticipation of potential transmission in swine herds. Producers today have not detected widespread transmission of the Novel H1N1 strain within swine herds.

“This gives us hope that this (Novel) H1N1 strain can be managed by producers like any other seasonal swine flu strain in pigs,” says Gloria Basse, senior director of the U.S. swine business for Pfizer. Producers are advised to consult with their veterinarian on the use of this new conditionally licensed vaccine, as well as continue to follow American Association of Swine Veterinarians and National Pork Board recommendations for routine flu preventive measures.

An adequate inventory of this new vaccine is available to ensure supply in key pork-producing states, according to Pfizer. Local use of the vaccine requires the approval of state veterinarians, and Pfizer is working to achieve state-by-state approvals. 

“Our new conditionally licensed (Novel) H1N1 vaccine adds another valuable swine influenza management tool to Pfizer Animal Health’s FluSure XP Defense System toolbox,” says Steve Sornsen, DVM, Pfizer’s director of veterinary services. “This new vaccine was developed from USDA’s master seed virus and helps protect pigs against current (Novel) H1N1 strains circulating in humans and pigs. Serologic studies in pigs vaccinated with this vaccine showed an increase in antibody titers against the (Novel) H1N1 strain.”

The vaccine is a freeze-dried preparation containing the A/California/04/2009 (H1N1) isolate and requires a 2-mL dose along with a booster after three weeks. It is available in 50-dose and 250-dose sizes, and it contains Amphigen to help stimulate  immune responses.

For more information about this new vaccine, talk to your veterinarian.