Veterinary vaccines play a major role in protecting animal health by preventing and controlling serious epizootic diseases and by preventing animal-to-human transmission of infectious diseases. The availability of vaccines for farmed aquatic animals, as well as other veterinary medicinal products, is extremely low.
This situation is a serious constraint on the prevention and in case of disease, leading to welfare problems and hampering the growth of European aquaculture. Yet, current advances in vaccinology offer valuable opportunities to protect against mycotic and parasitic agents, for which vaccines are still lacking. European veterinarians thus routinely resort to the Cascade principle, a European legislative provision that allows a veterinarian to prescribe unauthorised medicines that would not otherwise be permitted. Rather, what is needed is a true Single market of aquaculture vaccines (Veterinary Medicinal Products).