Hendra virus

UQ VETS Equine Specialist Hospital requires horses to be vaccinated or exclusion tested for Hendra virus before admission.

    Hendra virus vaccination

    Hendra virus is a yearly vaccination administered in three doses: 

    • dose one and two are administered 21 to 42 days apart
    • dose three is administered six months later.

    A horse is considered vaccinated against Hendra virus:

    • three weeks to six months after its second vaccine dose
    • one week to one year after its third vaccine dose
    • if it complies with current label recommendations for use of the vaccine product registered in Australia (EquivacRHeV).

    Vaccination can start at four months of age.

      Hendra virus exclusion testing 

      Unvaccinated horses must undergo exclusion testing for Hendra virus before a scheduled appointment or emergency referral at UQ VETS Equine Specialist Hospital.

      Your horse must receive a negative PCR performed in the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory at Coopers Plains, Queensland.

      For an unvaccinated horse to be admitted to UQ VETS Equine Specialist Hospital the options are:

      Exclusion testing by UQ VETS Equine Hospital: 

      Your horse will need to be brought to UQ VETS Equine Hospital by 9 am on the morning prior to consultation/surgery etc.  The horse will have blood drawn, which is sent to BSL (Biosecurity Science Laboratories) in Brisbane for exclusion testing.  The horse will spend the day in one of our exclusion stables, and then be brought into the main hospital barn once the exclusion testing results have been returned from BSL, generally, this is in the early evening.

      Exclusion testing by referral Veterinarian:

      The Veterinarian will take blood samples and send to BSL for exclusion testing.  Once the blood is drawn from the horse it must remain in a stable until coming into UQ VETS Equine Hospital.  The maximum period is 48 hours from testing to appointment. The exclusion testing results need to be forwarded to UQ VETS Equine Hospital prior to the horse’s arrival.


      UQ supports vaccination because it is the single most effective way to prevent Hendra virus infection in horses.

      In vaccine trials, immunised horses did not replicate or shed the Hendra virus.

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