Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Vets Worry about Hendra Booster Follow-Up Action

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Vets Worry about Hendra Booster Follow-Up Action

Article excerpt

BOOSTER SHOTS: Vets are urging Coffs Coast horse owners to be mindful of the Hendra status of their livestock.

EQUINE vets are warning horse owners in hendra hotspots, such as the Coffs Coast, that follow-up vaccinations are critical to stopping the virus's fatal spread between horses and humans.

More than 80,000 Australian horses have been vaccinated with Equivac HeV, as an effective way to protect them against the deadly flying fox-borne virus.

Leading equine experts, however, have raised concerns that some horse owners have not followed up with the booster dose six months after the initial vaccination course, potentially placing their horses back in the firing line of the virus.

Failure to vaccinate with the booster causes horses to lose their hendra vaccinated status.

In some cases, owners have just weeks remaining before their horses will lapse on the hendra vaccination registry.

"Hendra is a devastating virus, which can strike any time and in any place visited by flying foxes; effectively a huge expanse of Australia," Equine Veterinarians Australia president Dr Frank Condon said. …

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