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White House Considers Vaccinating Poultry Against Bird Flu

An ongoing bird flu epidemic is raising the price of eggs and poultry.

Near the end of 2022, various poultry farms around the United States began to suffer from a sudden outbreak of bird flu. While the risk of transmission from birds to humans is low according to CDC researchers, the primary problem is that the epidemic has led to increased bird slaughters to prevent the infection from spreading. This, in turn, has caused the prices of eggs and poultry products to spike severely in the last few months, with the price of a dozen eggs reaching as high as $4.82 in January.

In an effort to get the epidemic under control and hopefully assuage rising poultry prices, the White House is currently considering a mass vaccination effort for the country’s chickens. The CDC has begun efforts to test and locate a viable vaccine candidate, with several major pharmaceutical companies chipping in alongside the Agricultural Research Service for an in-house option.

“There are a range of options the United States regularly considers when there is any outbreak that could affect the security and safety of the United States’ food supply,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement on Monday. “Right now, we are focused on promoting and enhancing high-impact biosafety practices and procedures.”

If the White House does choose to go through with the plan, researchers project a viable candidate for a bird flu vaccine could be developed as soon as May.

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