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Vets Welcome Registration Of Hendra Vaccine
In a statement yesterday, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) welcomed the announcement that the Hendra virus vaccine has received registration from the Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). Dr Ian Fulton, President of Equine Veterinarians Australia, a special interest group of the AVA, said they welcomed the fact the vaccine has met the necessary requirements for registration. "The APVMA's requirements to register a vaccine are stringent, and there needs to be solid evidence that the vaccine is both effective and safe for it to be approved," he said. "Until now, the vaccine has been available on a temporary permit, and during that time any reactions to the vaccine have been recorded and investigated." Dr Fulton also commented, "We welcome the release of information about these adverse reactions by APVMA with less than 0.03% of doses causing some kind of adverse reaction. This is in line with what our members have told us – that they have seen only small numbers of problems with the vaccine." Acknowledging that the registration is an important step forward in managing the risks associated with the Hendra virus, Dr Fulton claimed, "The vaccine decreases the risk of exposure to Hendra virus for horse owners, handlers and veterinarians and is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection." Equivac HeV was first made available in November 2012, in response to the growing number of outbreaks and subsequent deaths in Queensland and New South Wales. Independent information about the safety and registration of the Hendra vaccine is available on the website of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority at http://apvma.gov.au/node/12871.