Vaccination

Published: 02 November 2022
Last edited: 23 November 2022

To be effective, vaccination campaigns in domestic dogs have to achieve and maintain 70% coverage, which presents a practical challenge in a remote landscape with a high turnover in the dog population. Under the EWCP initiative, a comprehensive approach is taken to prevent and prepare for disease introduction and spread in wolf populations: vaccination campaigns are carried out in domestic dogs in and around wolf habitat, preventive oral vaccination of wolves is conducted, and emergency vaccination of wolves is administered in response to a confirmed disease epizootic.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Management planning
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
National
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

Research, including a successful field trial, resulted in the EWCP being able to conduct preventive vaccination of wolves against rabies using an oral bait (a vaccine sachet hidden inside a piece of meat). Oral vaccination is cheaper, less stressful for wolves, and easier to scale up than injectable vaccines.

Lessons learned

While the injectable rabies vaccine is used routinely in domestic dogs around the world, successful vaccination in wolves required a different approach: oral rabies vaccination. While oral baiting approach is used in some wild carnivores in North America and Europe, this was the first time that the SAG2 rabies vaccine was used in an endangered species. Trials were conducted on bait preferences and vaccine delivery in wolf populations in the Bale Mountains.

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