Hen­dra vac­cine on the cards

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE -

A VAC­CINE for the deadly Hen­dra Virus has been ap­proved for horses.

The Equivac HeV vac­cine will be avail­able un­der a Mi­nor Use Per­mit as of Novem­ber 1, mean­ing only vet­eri­nar­i­ans will be able to ad­min­is­ter the vac­cine.

Hen­dra virus has claimed the lives of nine horses this year alone and has no known cure.

Gayn­dah vet­eri­nar­ian Dr Nathan Hitch­cock said he would be ready to ad­min­is­ter the medicine “as soon as it’s avail­able”.

“It will be two doses, three weeks apart,” Dr Hitch­cock said.

And horses will “need a booster down the track”.

Vac­ci­nated horses were ex­posed to lethal doses of Hen­dra in med­i­cal tri­als, and were com­pletely pro­tected.

North Bur­nett res­i­dent Rose Leahy owns around 20 horses and foals and said the vac­cine was “good news, es­pe­cially if you’ve got valu­able livestock”.

“There have been a few scares around here, and there is al­ways the threat (of Hen­dra virus),” Ms Leahy said.

“We would con­sider it for some of our horses,” she said.

“It just de­pends on the cost (of the mul­ti­ple vac­ci­na­tions).”

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