Thirty-two epizootics of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported in poultry and other birds since 1959. The ongoing H5N1 HPAI epizootic that began in 1996 has also spilled over to infect wild birds. Traditional stamping-out programs in poultry have resulted in eradication of most HPAI epizootics. However, vaccination of poultry was added as a control tool in 1995 and has been used during five epizootics. Over 113 billion doses of AI vaccine have been used in poultry from 2002 to 2010 as oil-emulsified, inactivated whole AIV vaccines (95.5%) and live vectored vaccines (4.5%). Over 99% of the vaccine has been used in the four H5N1 HPAI enzootic countries: China including Hong Kong (91%), Egypt (4.7%), Indonesia (2.3%), and Vietnam (1.4%) where vaccination programs have been nationwide and routine to all poultry. Ten other countries used vaccine in poultry in a focused, risk-based manner but this accounted for less than 1% of the vaccine used. Most vaccine "failures" have resulted from problems in the vaccination process; i.e., failure to adequately administer the vaccine to at-risk poultry resulting in lack of population immunity, while fewer failures have resulted from antigenic drift of field viruses away from the vaccine viruses. It is currently not feasible to vaccinate wild birds against H5N1 HPAI, but naturally occurring infections with H5 low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses may generate cross-protective immunity against H5N1 HPAI. The most feasible method to prevent and control H5N1 HPAI in wild birds is through control of the disease in poultry with use of vaccine to reduce environmental burden of H5N1 HPAIV, and eventual eradication of the virus in domestic poultry, especially in domestic ducks which are raised in enzootic countries on range or in other outdoor systems having contact with wild aquatic and periurban terrestrial birds.