The United States and European Union are taking steps to acquire or manufacture H5N1 bird flu vaccines. Reports say the vaccines would protect at-risk poultry and dairy workers, veterinarians, and lab technicians.

Experts say this could curb a pandemic threat. U.S. officials are already moving bulk vaccine that closely matches the current virus into almost five million vaccine doses. These actions come after the rapid spread of a new bird flu that first emerged in late 2020, killing a large number of wild birds and domestic poultry.

In 2024, the virus began infecting several mammal species, including cattle. The virus has infected a large number of cattle in nine states and two dairy employees.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that 20% of the U.S. milk supply shows signs of the virus, increasing chances of a wider spread. Officials told Reuters the sole focus should be on preventing that.