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Minister Says Aust-Wide Vaccination Cost $70-100m

Tuesday, 11th September 2007

However NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said vaccinating Australia's horse population against equine influenza would cost up to $100 million each year. He told Radio 2KY: "If we are going to effectively vaccinate across all states that means 440,000 horses & a high level of vaccination use to avoid a mutation of the disease in the horse population. It will cost $70-100 million a year." Macdonald confirmed a "suitable" vaccination has been indemnified, but implementation of a vaccine program would need to be authorised by national bodies such as the Australian Quarantine Service & it would be "at least 2 weeks" before any vaccination program would be able to start. In addition, with the program involving 2 injections over a 1-month period, it would be 6-weeks before the vaccination started to work. Macdonald summed up: "It's a big step to sign off on."

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