U.S., EU Consider Bird Flu Vaccinations

The United States and European Union are taking steps to acquire or manufacture H5N1 bird flu vaccines. Reports say the vaccines would protect at-risk poultry and dairy workers, veterinarians, and lab technicians. Experts say this could curb a pandemic threat.

U.S. officials are already moving bulk vaccine that closely matches the current virus into almost five million vaccine doses. These actions come after the rapid spread of a new bird flu that first emerged in late 2020, killing a large number of wild birds and domestic poultry. In 2024, the virus began infecting several mammal species, including cattle. The virus has infected a large number of cattle in nine states and two dairy employees.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that 20 percent of the U.S. milk supply shows signs of the virus, increasing chances of a wider spread. Officials told Reuters the sole focus should be on preventing that.

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