Hendra virus vaccine for horses

Hendra virus detected in Mackay

A confirmed case of Hendra virus has been detected in the Mackay area on 8 July 2022.

This is Queensland's first case of Hendra virus since 2017.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your animal may have Hendra virus infection. Veterinarians that suspect Hendra virus infection in a patient should follow standard procedures to investigate the situation.

A registered vaccine is available to help prevent Hendra virus (HeV) disease in horses. Vaccination of horses is the most effective way to help manage Hendra virus disease.

Vaccination of horses provides a public health and work health and safety benefit by reducing the risk of HeV transmission to humans and other susceptible animals. Whenever HeV infection is suspected, even in vaccinated horses, appropriate biosecurity precautions, including personal protective equipment (PPE), should be used as no vaccine can provide 100% guaranteed protection.

Horse owners are encouraged to discuss the option of HeV vaccination of their horse with their veterinarian.

Can I or my horse become infected from the Hendra virus vaccine?

There's no live virus involved in the manufacture of the HeV vaccine for horses. The vaccine contains a synthetically produced glycoprotein which triggers the horse's immune system to produce antibodies against HeV.

There's no danger that you or your horse will become infected with HeV due to exposure to the vaccine.

Will there be compulsory vaccinations for all horses in Queensland?

The Queensland Government has not made the HeV vaccine compulsory for horses in Queensland.

More information

Contact your veterinarian or go to Health4Horses.