Equine Influenza Vaccine Update

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 09 Sep 2022 17:00 GMT

Following an announcement today by the FEI Board, a temporary derogation of the six-monthly EI vaccination booster requirement been confirmed by British Dressage for both national and international competition.  

Horses eye

As communicated in the updates jointly issued by British Equestrian (BEF) and the British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA) on 17 August and 6 September, it has been confirmed there are distribution problems with doses of the equine influenza vaccination, which are expected to continue until the end of October at the earliest. 
This is a Europe-wide issue, but the impact of a shortage of doses has hit the UK first, with several veterinary practices already out of stock.   
Due to the vaccination requirements currently in place for British Dressage there is a higher level of immunity among those horses competing, providing a strong foundation and reducing the risk level. However, competition horses also mix more frequently with others and there is a need for close regulatory alignment with the FEI and BHA. 
Owners with horses registered with British Dressage should note the following change to our rules for national competition, announced on our social media channels earlier this week: 
The current BD EI vaccination policy states that the most recent booster injection must have been given within six calendar months (+21 days) prior to the horse competing. There will be a temporary derogation of this rule with immediate effect, until further notice. 
The requirement for a 12-month booster will continue to remain in place. It is vitally important that this is maintained, otherwise horses will be required to restart their vaccination programme before they can compete in affiliated dressage competition. 
The FEI Board met yesterday and approved as an Emergency Board Resolution the following temporary modifications to Article 1003.4 of the FEI Veterinary Regulations:  
Booster vaccinations must be administered at a maximum of 12-month intervals and Horses competing in Events must have received a booster within the previous 12 months, provided it was not administered within 7 days of the horses’ arrival at the Event. 
This measure for international competition will apply for a limited six-month period between 1 October 2022 and 1 April 2023 only. 
Working closely with BEVA, British Equestrian’s Emergency Response Group (BEF ERG) will continue to meet regularly to monitor the situation and work on a strategy to help minimise the impact of the shortage in vaccine stocks until supplies return to normal. 
Protecting horse health remains our top priority, so we would like to thank members for their co-operation and understanding while we wait for these supply issues to be resolved.