Hendra Vaccination|QHC recommendation
Responsible animal ownership requires each owner/carer to be informed about the health and welfare issues of their animals and to assess their own circumstances to make decisions in relation the care of their animals and their responsibility to humans.
Hendra virus is deadly. It is a serious matter for all horse owners in Australia where flying foxes are found, in particular the entire east coast. The QHC emphasises that vaccination is the most effective preventative tool available to horse owners, however vaccination must also be supported by robust biosecurity practices.
Vaccinate horses where ever possible.
Shop around for the best price for vaccination. Remember to include the one-off cost of microchipping if applicable and any other associated costs which your veterinarian may impose when determining your costs. Consider arranging vaccination days with others to reduce veterinarian costs.
Ensure the administering veterinarian has your contact email address and specifically request them to ensure it is entered into the vaccination database to ensure you directly receive the notices when the next vaccination is due. This will enable you to be in control of the vaccination status of your horses and allow you to shop around for the best vaccination prices for subsequent boosters.
If you are unable to vaccinate all your horses, prioritise horses for vaccination which are most vulnerable or likely to come into contact with humans. Eg competition, working, breeding horses and horses kept adjacent to public thoroughfares.
Be aware that some veterinarians may refuse to treat an unvaccinated horse if they suspect Hendra virus, so if you have any horses which are under veterinary care for existing conditions we recommend they are also vaccinated to ensure continued access to veterinary care.
Manage all horses with good biosecurity protocols, however be particularly vigilant with those that are unvaccinated. Handle any unvaccinated horse that falls ill as though it could possibly be Hendra virus.
Have your own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on hand.
We acknowledge that many people would prefer to vaccinate all their horses, but for various reasons they are unable to do so. In making the decision to not vaccinate, horse owners must understand that they are ‘taking their chances’ and therefore they must be prepared for the consequences. It is not fair for owners to expect others to put themselves at risk because of their (the owner's) decision to not vaccinate, regardless of the reasons behind the decision.
We support the right of veterinarians to protect themselves and their employees from Hendra virus.
We support the right of event organisers to mandate vaccination at their events.
Hendra virus Vaccine|Equivac HeV
What is Equivac® HeV?
Equivac® HeV is for the immunisation of horses against the deadly Hendra virus. This potentially deadly virus can spread from horses to humans.
Advantage of using Equivac® HeV?
Since there are no known treatments for the disease caused by the Hendra virus, vaccination is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of the virus transferring from bats to horses and from horses to humans.
When do I use Equivac® HeV?
Equivac® HeV is available only through your vet and can be given to horses as young as 4 months of age. Equivac® HeV requires two doses, three to six weeks apart, followed by a booster every six months.
Information sourced from https://www.health4horses.com.au/Products/Equivac-HeV
Hendra Virus Vaccine Question and Answers
Equivac HeV Consumer Leaflet
Equivac Horse Owner Leaflet
Equivac Consumer Leaflet
131217 An update on Equivac Hev Duration of Immunity Challenge
130722 QHC Statement Hev Vacc immunity