USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a conditional license to Harrisvaccines, Inc. of Iowa for a vaccine that could aid in controlling porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in swine.
The vaccine is the first to be licensed for the virus and will be used to vaccinate sows, so they build antibody and transmit the antibody through their milk to piglets.
USDA officials say preliminary tests of the vaccine were promising, and they believe it will be effective. The company will continue to work on the vaccine for a full license, though there are no restrictions on the current use under the conditional license.
USDA announced $26.2 million in funding to combat the disease earlier in June.
While the virus does not pose a risk to human health or food safety, it has managed to cripple the pig population in the past year. According to USDA, the virus is responsible for the deaths of seven million piglets in the last year, and the number of market-ready hogs available this summer could be 10 percent less than those in 2013.