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More Horses to be Protected Following Australian Hendra Vaccine Registration

10 August 2015

AUSTRALIA - The Hendra virus vaccine has received registration from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), allowing more horses to be protected from the disease.

Dr Ian Fulton, President of Equine Veterinarians Australia, a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), said they welcomed the fact the vaccine has met the necessary requirements for registration.

“The APVMA’s requirements to register a vaccine are stringent, and there needs to be solid evidence that the vaccine is both effective and safe for it to be approved.

“Until now, the vaccine has been available on a temporary permit, and during that time any reactions to the vaccine have been recorded and investigated.

“We welcome the release of information about these adverse reactions by APVMA with less than 0.03 per cent of doses causing some kind of adverse reaction. This is in line with what our members have told us – that they have seen only small numbers of problems with the vaccine.

“The registration is an important step forward in managing the risks associated with the Hendra virus.

“The vaccine decreases the risk of exposure to Hendra virus for horse owners, handlers and veterinarians and is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection.

“Of course, it also helps to protect horses against this fatal disease, which is especially important in Queensland and northern New South Wales where there have been Hendra cases confirmed.

“Vaccinating horses provides a public health and workplace health and safety benefit.

“Horse owners should discuss the need for Hendra vaccination for their horses with their veterinarian,” Dr Fulton said.

Equivac HeV was first made available in November 2012, in response to the growing number of outbreaks and subsequent deaths in Queensland and New South Wales.

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