Many of our clients are concerned about the restrictions that have been placed on the provision of vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak. The information below will hopefully provide some of information, the answers and reassurance that you need.
We are observing Government advice and BEVA guidelines, and balancing horse health against the risk to human health from the transmission of COVID-19, by stopping all routine work including vaccinations. We understand that a small number of practices are still offering routine vaccinations. However, this against the advice of the Government, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Equine Veterinary Association.
The current risk of equine flu is very low at present. There are currently no active equine flu outbreaks in the UK. There are also no equestrian competitions taking place and therefore horses are not travelling or mixing with other horses that are not on their yard. They are essentially self isolating as we are.
Much of the concern is that horses will have to re-start their vaccination course if they become overdue.
BEVA is in discussion with the various regulatory bodies, looking at ways to minimise the longer-term impact of temporarily reducing/halting influenza vaccinations so that people can get out competing again as soon as possible.
If your horse has to to re-start their primary vaccine course after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the first vaccine and visit fee will be at normal price. You can save on the visit fee by using our £5 visit fee on our Zone Visit Scheme. The second vaccine will be free of charge, with no visit fee if this is booked on our Zone Visit Scheme. This will mean that getting your horse back up to date will not cost our clients.
Once a horse has had the primary course of tetanus vaccinations we know the immunity lasts for 2-3 years. We are therefore advising that horses do not have a tetanus booster unless its vaccination has lapsed more than 3 years. If you have any concerns about your horse and its tetanus vaccination status, please ask to speak to one of our vets.