Milton Keynes, May 04, 2020 – MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, has launched its new NOBIVAC® Myxo-RHD PLUS. This is the first single shot vaccine that gives rabbits a full 12 months protection from the three main infectious diseases in rabbits – Myxomatosis, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) classic and variant strains (RHDV-1 and 2).
This spectrum of vaccine coverage can only currently be achieved by using two different vaccines, with injections spaced two weeks apart. NOBIVAC Myxo-RHD PLUS will make vaccination more convenient, helping improve levels of compliance against variant strains of RHD which is currently estimated to be at around only 60% of the vaccinated rabbit population. A single low volume 0.5ml vaccination provides 12 months of duration of immunity against all three pathogens. Available in a pack of five, single dose vials, with a shelf-life of two years, the vaccine can be used from the age of five or seven weeks onwards to achieve the full duration of immunity. Immunity is provided within three weeks of administration.
Leonora Bell, Product Manager at MSD Animal Health comments: “It’s clear that this year the usually busy Spring season, where purchasing and vaccinating rabbits is at its highest, will not be as predictable as previous years. Vaccinating rabbits is unlikely to be at the top of your agenda. MSD Animal Health’s new NOBIVAC Myxo-RHD PLUS has arrived, however, so this is a good opportunity to understand how to safely switch vaccinated rabbits and introduce new rabbits to vaccination. This is a time when clients can be encouraged back into your practice, ideally prior to the increase in infectious disease which we tend to see during the peak summer months.”
“The variant RHD-2 strain appears now to predominate in cases of rabbit haemorrhagic disease and readily transfers over long distances via flies and the wind. Vaccinating rabbits that live both outdoors and indoors is therefore vital. Rabbits are popular pets and rabbit owners are highly motivated to seek veterinary advice once they are made aware of their pet’s specific health needs. They are, however, much less likely to take their pet to a veterinary practice than cat or dog owners or to seek advice on vaccination, neutering or other routine health matters.”
According to the PAW PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report, 2019, only 49% of rabbit owners say their pet has a primary vaccination course when young, compared to 61% of cat owners and 72% of dog owners. Furthermore, the number of pets vaccinated is on the decline and ‘vaccine hesitancy’ has been named as one of the top health threats for 2019 by the World Health Organisation.
Leonora Bell adds: “Production of our existing NOBIVAC Myxo-RHD vaccine will necessarily be replaced with the new NOBIVAC Myxo-RHD PLUS to ensure that rabbits are vaccinated in the most appropriate way. Following the correct switching protocol is therefore vital. For unvaccinated rabbits it’s a simple case of starting with the new vaccine. For rabbits due for a booster of Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2, again, vets can simply switch to the new vaccine when the booster is normally due. Where rabbits have already only been vaccinated with the existing NOBIVAC Myxo-RHD vaccine it is recommended that vets vaccinate the rabbit with an inactivated RHD-2 vaccine, such as Filavac or Eravac vaccine, as soon as possible. For boosters due later this year and all subsequent boosters, use NOBIVAC Myxo-RHD PLUS.”
The launch of the vaccine is supported by a range of educational materials aimed at helping vets switch and encourage new rabbit owners into the practice. There will be a new website (www.nobivacmyxorhdplus.co.uk) which includes rabbit owner support videos, an educational launch webinar, a detailer, practice posters, noticeboard materials and e-mail templates as vaccination reminders for rabbit owners. These aim to help veterinary practices encourage new and existing rabbit owners to bring their pet for vaccination and other advice relating to neutering, dentistry, parasite control and diet.
About MSD Animal Health
For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals®, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com/ or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
NOBIVAC® Myxo-RHD PLUS contains live myxoma vectored RHD virus strains 009 and MK1899. POM-V. Further information is available from the SPC, Datasheet or package leaflet.
MSD Animal Health UK Limited. Registered office Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ, UK. Registered in England & Wales no. 946942. Advice should be sought from the medicine prescriber. Use Medicines Responsibly.