The race to find a vaccine for African swine fever (ASF) continues across the globe. Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong announced on Monday that Vietnam might have a vaccine as early as next year following optimistic small-scale test results.

The country has managed to isolate and form a bank of ASF virus in Vietnam as the foundation for future research, VNExpress reports.

“Initial vaccine tests on small scales have provided optimistic results. According to reports from experts and businesses in charge of technology transference, Vietnam might have a vaccine for African swine fever by the third quarter of 2021 if conditions allow,” Cuong said in a VNExpress article.

Additionally, the article said research institutions have also developed a line of swine genetics with antibodies against the ASF virus from 85 pigs that survived in major outbreak hotspots. According to Cuong, the agriculture ministry supports farming models using bio-products and believes disease-resistant breeds would prove to be an important factor in dealing with ASF.

Scientists are also working on sequencing the genes of the virus for vaccine research, performing epidemiological studies to create biosafety procedures and disease prevention methods, and produced bio-products in pig farming to boost their immune system and curb diseases, VNExpress reports.

ASF was first discovered in Vietnam in February 2019 and has since spread throughout the entire country. Outbreaks have forced culling of around 6 million pigs.

This virus is deadly in pigs but does not affect humans or the food supply.

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