A new vaccine could prevent future outbreaks of the Hendra virus.
A new vaccine could prevent future outbreaks of the Hendra virus.

Hendra vaccine just ‘months away'

A VACCINE for the Hendra virus, responsible for the deaths of 10 horses on the North Coast last year, could be available within 12 months.

The news follows an unprecedented spike in recorded cases of the virus across the North Coast and Queensland with 19 cases identified last year.

Professor Martyn Jeggo, from the CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Victoria, indicated the discovery of a workable vaccine had taken place relatively quickly.

"Because the virus is very stable, it doesn't change over time, it's easier than a virus which is constantly changing and mutating like influenza," he said.

"A couple of years ago it became clear that we had we had a potential candidate vaccine."

With the research completed, CSIRO scientists were now in the process of fulfilling the regulatory requirements needed to release the vaccine publicly.

Professor Jeggo expects the vaccine to be available prior to the Hendra danger season of 2013.



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