PHARMAQ AS - part of Zoetis

PHARMAQ AS - part of Zoetis

Preventive Safety Measures Services


It is important that personnel carrying out the vaccination of farmed fish follow the recommended safety measures which have been designed in order to prevent or at least minimise the risk of accidental self-injection.

These measures include the following:

  • Provide personnel with effective training in vaccination technique and first aid as well as an introduction to the procedure which must be followed in the event of accidental self-injection.
  • Use a well-fitting needle-guard on the syringe in order to protect the fingers and hand from the needle point.
  • Use appropriate gloves to ensure a good grip on the fish.
  • Take regular breaks and ensure a comfortable working position and good lighting. Make sure the rate at which vaccination is carried out does not affect quality and safety.
  • It is extremely important to ensure that the fish are properly anaesthetised. Most accidental self-injections occur when fish wriggle.
  • Notify the local doctor prior to the commencement of vaccination.
  • Woman in pregnancy should not administer products containing fish vaccine.
  • Make sure that first aid equipment is at hand.

If you have been accidentally injected with fish vaccine, seek the assistance of a doctor immediately, even if the injected amount is small.  Take the printed information from the vaccine package with you to the doctor. If pain persists for more than 12 hours after medical examination, you must consult the doctor again.

Accidental injection of fish vaccine into the human body can lead to severe pain and swelling, especially if the preparation is injected into a joint or a finger. In rare cases, the loss of an affected finger may result if treatment is not commenced immediately.

Self-injection may result in sensitisation to fish vaccine such that any subsequent self injection may produce an allergic reaction leading to anaphylactic shock. This could be life-threatening without rapid and proper treatment.

If any unfavourable and unintended effect is observed after treatment or vaccination using a veterinary medicinal product, please contact Qualified Person responsible for Pharmacovigilance (QPPV) at PHARMAQ for advice.

To the doctor

The introduction of even a small amount of a fish vaccine product into a person can result in pronounced swelling which may, result in ischaemic necrosis at the injection site or even the loss of an affected finger.

The site of injection must IMMEDIATELY be examined by a surgically competent person, and if necessary, incision and irrigation of the affected area must be performed, especially when ligaments or soft finger tissue are involved. However this type of intervention should only be undertaken if the risks associated with it outweigh those of inaction.

Repeated self-injection may reinforce the reaction thereby elevating the risk of anaphylactic shock.

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