USDA awards contracts to 2 companies for bird flu vaccines

AP News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2015 11:34 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal agency has awarded contracts to two companies to manufacture a bird flu vaccine.

But officials haven't decided whether to give the doses to poultry to protect against a disease that led to the destruction of 48 million chickens and turkeys this spring.

The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it had awarded contracts to Harrisvaccines of Ames, Iowa, and Ceva, a company based in France.

The USDA didn't release the cost of the contracts.

As part of the agreement, the companies agreed to manufacture an unspecified number of doses, store them for up to five years and deliver them throughout the U.S. within 10 days.

The USDA says it would need to decide whether the treatment would be effective and weigh potential trade effects before using any vaccine.