Hendra Virus Vaccinations

Hendra virus is widespread throughout bat populations along Eastern Australia. There are bats that have tested positive for this virus in Victoria. Under certain conditions, the virus can transmit to horses, then from horses to other horses and also horses to people. It has been fatal in 60% of human infections. As this is a zoonotic disease (can transmit to humans), any horse that contracts Hendra virus will be put to sleep. Although there are currently no reported cases of Hendra in Victoria, there is concern that the virus could be brought in from interstate, or could transmit from infected bats to horses in Victoria. We are lucky that there is now a safe and effective vaccination available against Hendra Virus to help protect us from this terrible disease.

To get your horse vaccinated against Hendra Virus*, a veterinarian needs to administer the vaccine, and your horse has to be microchipped. If you want to get your horse vaccinated and it needs a microchip, the vet will microchip your horse at the same time as the first injection is needed. The vaccination protocol currently consists of

  1. Initial injection (+/- micro chip)
  2. Second injection 3 weeks after the first one (21-42 days after first injection)
  3. 6 monthly boosters

*Equivac HeV, and its active constituent are not registered. An application for registration/approval of the product and active constituent has been submitted to APVMA.” Ask your veterinarian for more information.

Please see our Owner’s Handout and Hendra guide from Zoetis for more information:

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