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2016 report on Hawaiian monk seal vaccination program
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  • Description:
    "The Merial monovalent Purevax® canarypox-vectored recombinant distemper vaccine, labeled for ferrets, was previously tested for safety and seroconversion in captive harbor seals (Quinley et al. 2013) and Hawaiian monk seals (Yochem and Gulland, pers. comm.) before going on indefinite backorder in 2013. In late 2015, Merial made a limited quantity of Purevax available again. Given the 2015 window of availability and results of the epidemiological model, it was decided that use on wild HMS was appropriate in order to begin implementing a prophylactic vaccination strategy to protect this species from a devastating morbillivirus outbreak. Thus, the 2016 vaccination program was designed to: (a) re-confirm safety in HMS in controlled settings (i.e., rehabilitation) using the currently available Purevax product; (b) establish capacity to further evaluate long-term antibody titer levels in a subset of seals; and (c) implement prophylactic vaccination of free-ranging HMS, with an initial focus on achieving herd immunity on Oahu. This document summarizes 2016 Hawaiian monk seal vaccination efforts (Johanos, 2016a) and serum antibody findings (Kaufman, 2016). Monk seal demographic data (Johanos, 2016 b-e) were utilized during study design and implementation, and provided context for results. All activities were conducted under NMFS Permits 16632 and 16632-01"--Background (paragraphs 4 and 5). [doi:10.7289/V5/DR-PIFSC-17-010 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5/DR-PIFSC-17-010)]
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