Vaccination Policy Update
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has announced an update to policy recommendations to vet practices. The primary focus absolutely remains to prioritise human health, but we are now more able to determine whether certain procedures can be carried out as long as government guidelines of social distancing can be followed safely. Any changes to policy will only take place after the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend to adhere to the government request to stay home as much as possible over the busy holiday. Please know this is categorically not a return to ‘business as usual’, but after much review internally we have decided that vaccinations will partly re-start as of Tuesday, April 14th. Otherwise, our calls will continue to be limited to emergency and urgent cases only.
We will vaccinate horses for existing clients who are due an annual influenza & tetanus booster or second and third course within 7 days of when they are due. We will not be carrying out 6-monthly boosters, and no new vaccination courses will be started. Our vaccination reminder system will re-start, and we will be in touch with you in the coming days to let you know whether you meet the criteria for an appointment. In the meantime, please contact the office from Tuesday if you have any questions or concerns.
We have come to this decision because we feel this policy will limit the number of re-starts that may be requested over the summer months and is a responsible step to limit visits overall (as re-starts would require two visits as opposed to one). We can and will only undertake these vaccinations if the horse is tied up outside, we can maintain 10-20 feet from the owner or handler and the passport is left out for the vet to view and sign – with no additional personal contact.
For those horses that have lapsed from March 24th to Tuesday, April 14th, your 2nd vaccination of your re-started course will be free of charge. Please note though, that we are not restarting those vaccinations yet. Rest assured, that your horse is at very low risk at the moment due to high vaccination rates overall due to the flu outbreak last year, lack of equine movement and no recent cases of equine flu in our area. Again, we will be in touch with you to let you know whether you fall into this group and we will make a plan for your horse once restrictions loosen overall.
All of this being said, if your horse qualifies for a vaccination but you would prefer to allow your course to lapse (i.e. you are high-risk, self-isolating or just prefer to not have a vet visit at this time) that is fine with us. Just be in touch and we can make a plan for you.
Please bear in mind, if recommendations from the RCVS or government change again over the coming weeks, we may need to revisit any decisions made here. Most importantly, we want to be sure all of our clients know how seriously we are taking the lockdown measures and that we wholeheartedly support any decisions that need to be made in order to protect public health and NHS services. We are navigating our way through these unprecedented times, and feel we’ve struck the right balance in terms of limiting contact whilst maintaining animal welfare. As you have been, we ask that you continue to respect the social distancing and hygiene guidelines during any visits so that we do all we can to keep you and our vets as safe as possible.
The Directors at Agnew Equine