Last revised Friday 1st March, 2013 What is the Equivac® HeV Vaccine? Equivac® HeV vaccine is a 1ml vaccine that aids in the protection of HeV disease in healthy horses from 4 months of age. Horses will initially be vaccinated with 2 doses, 21 days apart, with the onset of immunity occurring 21 days a er the second dose. e vaccine contains a non-infectious protein component of the virus. Can I vaccinate my foal? Yes. Foals can be vaccinated from 4 months of age with 2 doses 21 days apart. oroughbred foals to be registered with the ASB must only be microchipped with an ASB assigned microchip. Is the vaccine safe to use in pregnant broodmares? ere is no safety data available supporting the use of Equivac® HeV in pregnant mares, and consequently there are no associated label recommendations. e safety trials will take some time to complete and the data is not expected until 2014. For this reason, owners and veterinarians may choose to not vaccinate breeding stock. Many Veterinarians and scientists do not expect that this vaccine will be problematic for use in breeding animals, as other subunit vaccines such as Equivac® Strangles vaccines are safely used in pregnant mares. However, the safety study data will be necessary to verify this prior to a label recommendation in breeding animals. e decision to vaccinate pregnant mares at this early stage should be made on the balance of risk of HeV infection against the risk of possible vaccine related side e ects on a pregnancy. Pregnant mares are currently being vaccinated in high-risk areas of Qld and any adverse reactions on pregnancy will be noti ed. is anecdotal information will be provided to Veterinarians. Some owners and Veterinarians may choose to vaccinate brood mares immediately a er foaling. How does the vaccine work? e vaccine stimulates the production of protective antibodies. If the horse is subsequently exposed to HeV, the antibodies will bind the viral particles preventing them from establishing active infection in the horse. e viral particles bound to the antibody are then further eliminated by the immune system. How e ective is the vaccine? Initial trials have shown complete protection when vaccinated horses were exposed to a lethal dose of HeV. All vaccinated horses were protected from disease and there was no evidence that infection had been established or that virus was shed from these horses. e trials show that the vaccine will be extremely e ective in the prevention of HeV disease in horses and in the prevention of HeV transmission from horse to horse and from horse to human. How does HeV vaccination of horses protect human life? e only recognised pathway of transmission of HeV to people is from contact with infected horses. Vaccination of horses will therefore provide protection to people by interrupting HeV transmission from ying foxes to horses, and then to humans. However, widespread uptake of vaccine would be necessary for Equivac® HeV to have a signi cant impact on human health. Can vaccination adversely a ect a horse’s suitability for export? Vaccinated horses can be exported today to most countries of the world including the major destinations of New Zealand, United Kingdom, European Union, USA and Canada. However the following countries, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the UAE have speci c limitations regarding Hendra and the importation of horses. If you are planning to export your horse to these countries in the short term, then it is imperative that you discuss the issue with your international horse shipping agent PRIOR to administering Equivac® HeV. Commonwealth DAFF is currently in discussions with Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the UAE regarding the approval for importation of vaccinated horses. EVA is optimistic the subject will be progressed in the next few months. In the interim, export of vaccinated horses to those countries will be managed on a case by case basis through Commonwealth DAFF. Dispensations can be requested. Contact Commonwealth DAFF to discuss your speci c requirements. Is the vaccine safe to use? Yes. Safety studies have been conducted in horses greater than 4 months of age, and these studies showed no signi cant adverse reactions associated with the use of Equivac® HeV. Minor side e ects that have been reported include small injection site reactions (lumps) that are not painful and that persist for only a few days. Field data from the rst 8000 horses vaccinated indicates that only 0.2% of doses resulted in minor side e ects following administration. Can the vaccine cause HeV infection? No. Equivac® HeV is not a live vaccine and it cannot cause clinical disease. Live virus is not used at any stage in the production of the vaccine. Equivac® HeV is known as a “subunit” vaccine, other “subunit” vaccines used in horses include Equivac® Strangles vaccines. Can vaccination have an adverse e ect on performance? is is very unlikely given how safe the vaccine is and the reporting of only minor vaccine reactions to date. However, in line with other vaccination recommendations, it is wise to avoid administering Equivac® HeV within 3 days of competition in case transient minor pain develops at the injection site. Can other vaccines be given at the same time? ere has been no safety work done looking at concurrent use of Equivac® HeV and Equivac® Tetanus/Strangles. is will be looked at in the future. It is however not expected that concurrent use of di erent vaccines would reduce the e ectiveness of each vaccine component. e concurrent use of di erent vaccines may increase the chance of vaccine reactions such as minor swelling, pain and fever.