Vaccination can be a useful tool for the control of avian influenza (AI) outbreaks, but its use is prohibited in most of the countries worldwide because of its interference with AI surveillance tests and its negative impact on poultry trade. AI vaccines currently in use in the field increase host resistance to the disease but have a limited impact on the virus transmission. To control or eradicate the disease, a carefully conceived vaccination strategy must be accompanied by strict biosecurity measures. Some countries have authorized vaccination under special circumstances with contradictory results, from control and disease eradication (Italy) to endemicity and antigenic drift of the viral strain (Mexico). Extensive vaccination programmes are ongoing in South East Asia to control the H5N1 epidemic. This review provides practical information on the available AI vaccines and associated diagnostic tests, the vaccination strategies applied in Asia and their impact on the disease epidemiology.