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Zimbabwe ramps up production of January disease vaccine

THE government has ramped up the production of the January Disease (Theileriosis) vaccine called Bolvac as part of its Integrated Ticks and Tick-Borne Disease Control Strategy (ITTBDCS).

Zimbabwe’s Department of Veterinary Services developed the Bolvac vaccine with the support of World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) through the Antimicrobial Resistance-Multi- Partner Trust Fund (AMR-MPTF) project.

The country first developed Bolvac Zimbabwe’s Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) in 1989 but production was discontinued in the 1990s due to inadequate funding.

The production of the vaccine resumed in 2021 after the government provided the requisite financial assistance. This comes as the deadly animal disease, which recently resurfaced in Matabeleland South, has claimed 700 cattle, prompting the government to quarantine Insiza, Bulima and Umzingwane.

Department of Veterinary Services chief director Josphat Nyika said the decision to increase the production of the Bolvac vaccine followed positive clinical trials.

“So far we have manufactured at least 200 000 doses and we are now producing for national consumption. From the trials we have conducted we didn’t receive any negative results. “Our aim now is to ensure that we have enough vaccines in stock as we move to totally eradicate the January disease in our country,” Nyika said.

He added that they are now working on plans to start manufacturing vaccines for other cattle diseases in line with the government’s Livestock Growth Plan, which seeks to grow the sector to a US$1, 9 billion economy by 2025.

“We are considering the manufacturing of Bolvac vaccine. We are looking forward to manufacturing vaccines for infectious diseases like Anthrax and Black leg. “Our aim is to ensure that we provide affordable vaccines and chemicals to our farmers and to protect the national herd from diseases,” said Nyika.

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