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Novel vaccine acceptance in emerging infectious diseases: a case study of Hendra virus vaccine uptake in Australia

Taylor, M., Wiethoelter, A., Schembri, N., Toribio, J., Dhand, N., Kung, N., Moloney, B., Wright, T. and Field, H. (2015) Novel vaccine acceptance in emerging infectious diseases: a case study of Hendra virus vaccine uptake in Australia. In: 3rd International One Health Congress, 15-18 March 2015, Amsterdam.

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Organisation URL: http://www.iohc2015.com/


Background: The development of a horse vaccine against Hendra virus has been hailed as a good example of a One Health approach to the control of human disease. Although there is little doubt that this is true, it is clear from the underwhelming uptake of the vaccine by horse owners to date (approximately 10%) that realisation of a One Health approach requires more than just a scientific solution. As emerging infectious diseases may often be linked to the development and implementation of novel vaccines this presentation will discuss factors influencing their uptake; using Hendra virus in Australia as a case study.
Methods: This presentation will draw on data collected from the Horse owners and Hendra virus: A Longitudinal cohort study To Evaluate Risk (HHALTER) study. The HHALTER study is a mixed methods research study comprising a two-year survey-based longitudinal cohort study and qualitative interview study with horse owners in Australia. The HHALTER study has investigated and tracked changes in a broad range of issues around early uptake of vaccination, horse owner uptake of other recommended disease risk mitigation strategies, and attitudes to government policy and disease response. Interviews provide further insights into attitudes towards risk and decision-making in relation to vaccine uptake. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data analysis will be reported.
Results: Data collected from more than 1100 horse owners shortly after vaccine introduction indicated that vaccine uptake and intention to vaccinate was associated with a number of risk perception factors and financial cost factors. In addition, concerns about side effects and veterinarians refusing to treat unvaccinated horses were linked to uptake. Across the study period vaccine uptake in the study cohort increased to more than 50%, however, concerns around side effects, equine performance and breeding impacts, delays to full vaccine approvals, and attempts to mandate vaccination by horse associations and event organisers have all impacted acceptance.
Conclusion: Despite being provided with a safe and effective vaccine for Hendra virus that can protect horses and break the transmission cycle of the virus to humans, Australian horse owners have been reluctant to commit to it. General issues pertinent to novel vaccines, combined with challenges in the implementation of the vaccine have led to issues of mistrust and misconception with some horse owners. Moreover, factors such as cost, booster dose schedules, complexities around perceived risk, and ulterior motives attributed to veterinarians have only served to polarise attitudes to vaccine acceptance.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Animal culture
Animal culture > Horses
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary virology
Live Archive:19 Oct 2015 04:55
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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