Influenza Vaccine Expected to Arrive in Australia this Week

New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland will receive the majority of 20,000 vials of equine influenza vaccine expected to arrive Thursday, according to Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald.

The states will each receive around 9,500 vials of the vaccine, while Victoria will initially receive around 1,500 vials. A further 30,000 doses of the vaccine have already been ordered.

According to the Australian Horse Industry Council, there are 2,102 infected properties, 341 dangerous contact properties, and 310 suspect properties as of Sept. 24.

"The delivery of this vaccine will provide a major boost to the horse industry and together with our strategic buffer zones, will help us eradicate this disease," Macdonald said. "This vaccine will be prioritized to vaccinate working horses in NSW, which includes harness and race horses, stallions, and high level equestrian performers."

Macdonald said that Australia will request an additional 100,000 vials--which he said is believed to be the entire international stockpile.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'Landys said 4,000 vials will be used specifically for the NSW racing industry.

"Racing NSW will immediately implement a strategic vaccination program and this will bring racing back sooner than otherwise would have been the case without the vaccination," V'Landys said.

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