The equine influenza (EI) vaccination programmes of the eastern states of Australia are in full swing in NSW and Queensland, and about to commence in Victoria after frustrating delays in clearing the vaccine for use on Friday.
In NSW Racing NSW stewards and a team of vets immediately commenced vaccination late on Friday, after the EI Proteqflu vaccine from France that arrived on Thursday night, was released.
Around 2500 horses have been vaccinated at Sydney's Rosehill stables, and racing stables at Newcastle, Kembla Grange, Wyong and Gosford.
"All the racing stock available has been vaccinated," Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'Landys said.
"Now we are ready to start vaccinating the pre-trainers and the horses on agistment farms."
The agistment and pre-training farms are expected to be completed by late Sunday.
The delays in clearing the EI vaccine meant that Victoria did not receive the vaccine until Saturday. Vets will commence the Victorian programme with racehorses in training on Monday.
Veterinarians in Queensland on Saturday began injecting thoroughbred racehorses at stables around racetracks on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, as well as at Ipswich and Toowoomba.
Nearly 2000 horses were vaccinated by the end of Saturday.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Biosecurity Queensland chief veterinary officer Ron Glanville said the first round of vaccine shots in the region was expected to be fully administered by the end of the week.
A further shipment of 30,000 vaccines will arrive this week, with another 100,000 by the end of next week.
The vaccine inoculation programme will be repeated in two weeks as a booster, and by this time the horses should a immunity to the EI virus.
- Rob Burnet, Thoroughbred News