Layer Hen Chicken under sunlight lampUSDA announced Wednesday that a potential vaccine for bird flu could be identified as soon as 18 months from now. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the timeline includes discussions with trading partners amid concerns that other countries could restrict imports of vaccinated U.S. poultry.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 81 million poultry and aquatic birds have been killed by avian influenza in 47 states since January 2022. The World Health Organization for Animal Health shared last year that governments should consider bird flu vaccinations for poultry to keep the virus from spreading into pandemic territory.

Read more on the potential bird flu vaccine here.