Marek's Disease Vaccine: Yes? or, No?

Asked April 9, 2019, 8:08 PM EDT

I am waiting for an answer from the State, (VT) regarding the procedure to follow in a suspected (Marek's Disease) case of a 3 week old potentially infected Blue Silkie Chick. I Contacted my local Veterinarian's office and they too are waiting to hear from the state regarding protocol for handling such an event.

In further research, I have discovered articles and studies that claim to vaccinate chickens & turkeys against Marek's Disease may actually be more harmful than not vaccinating. Examples: PBS News Hour, ((July 27, 2015) https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/tthis-chicken-vaccine-makes-virus-dangerous. Should I vaccinate?

In my area of VT, all of the grain/farm supply stores that sell chicks in the Spring from commercial hatcheries DO NOT have their chicks vaccinated against Marick's disease. I have ordered a single vial, (1,000 doses per vial) of Marek's Vaccine . from Meyer's Hatchery. Should I vaccinate my adult birds? I know the recommended age for vaccination is within the first 24 hours, but will the vaccine work for my older adult flock? It would be wonderful to have contact info. and procedure/protocol info. for reporting suspected poultry diseases, (and Livestock diseases,) within all of our state's Extension Service Departments. In addition, further resources such as closest diagnostic laboratories where necropsies can be performed to provide definitive results.

Penn State Extension has some good info. on Marek's Disease in chickens: https://extension.psu.edu/mareks-disease-in-chickens

Addison County Vermont

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