Botswana sells FMD vaccine to Egypt

For the first time ever, the Botswana Vaccine Institute has sold its foot and mouth disease vaccine to Egypt, which has experienced an outbreak of a new strain of the deadly virus.

Onkabetse Maltho, the general manager of BVI, made the announcement at a media briefing on Tuesday. Maltho said that the institute was sending the first batch of vaccinations on Monday after receiving an order of two million doses, Xinhua reports.

"The first batch of 1.1 million doses has been blended and 420,000 doses will be dispatched to Egypt today (Monday) followed by 300,000 doses to Libya and 350,000 doses to Gaza Strip in May," Maltho said, according to Xinhua.

The BVI will be supplying the order as part of its partnership with its technical advisors, MERIAL SAS. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of UN-FAO, the outbreak involves a new strain that is different from the viruses that had previously been circulating in the country. As a result, BVI is producing a medicine specific for the new Egyptian FMD strain.

The African country previously sold the FMD vaccine to other countries. Botswana sold the vaccines to Pakistan in 2000 and later sold vaccines to other countries, including Saudi Arabia.