The influenza vaccines available in the UK decrease the duration and severity of clinical signs of disease which is an important equine welfare concern as unvaccinated horses can get very unwell and in rare cases mortality is reported as happened once in the 2019 outbreak.
The influenza vaccines also reduce the amount of virus shed by infected horses. Reducing viral shedding is key to stopping transmission of influenza from one horse to another, in combination with good biosecurity and surveillance. The concept of herd immunity is also worth highlighting: If the national herd vaccination rate was above around 80% influenza would not be able to propagate.
To learn more about Good Habits to Prevent the Spread of Equine Diseases, please read these useful notes from the High Health Steering Group. Click here to view the notes from the High Health Steering Group