Summary of current vaccination advice (July 2020)

The current epidemic of RHDV2 and the advent of a new recombinant vectored vaccine against myxomatosis, RHDV1 and RHDV2 have complicated vaccine selection to offer rabbits maximum protection. A decision tree is available that can be printed out if necessary.

A decision tree for selecting which vaccines to use to protect against myxomatosis, RHDV1 and RHDV2

Main Points

  • Myxomatosis and RHDV2 are prevalent in UK and all unvaccinated rabbits are at risk. It is recommended that all rabbits should be vaccinated against these diseases as soon as possible. The situation with RHD1 is unclear so it is recommended that rabbits are vaccinated against RHDV1 as well.
  • Vector interference is a problem with Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS in rabbits that have previously been vaccinated with Nobivac Myxo-RHD without additional RHDV2 vaccination. It is also a problem in rabbits that have been exposed to myxomatosis. These rabbits need to be vaccinated against RHDV2 with either Eravac or Filavac before they are given Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS two weeks later.
  • Rabbits that are up to date with RHDV2 vaccination (Eravac or Filavac) can be given a single booster of Nobivac Myxo-RHD Plus when their next booster is due for either RHDV2 or myxomatosis.
  • In rabbits that have definitely not been vaccinated against, or exposed to, myxomatosis e.g. young rabbits, a single vaccination at or over 10 weeks of age with Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS is adequate unless there is a risk of immediate exposure to RHDV2. 
  • If vaccination history is uncertain or vaccinations have lapsed, the safest option is to give an inactivated adjuvanted RHDV2 vaccine (Eravac or Filava)c followed by Nobivac Myxo-RHD or Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS two weeks later if myxomatosis vaccination is also due.
  • In the face of an outbreak of RHDV2, immediate vaccination with an inactivated adjuvanted RHDV2 vaccine (Eravac or Filavac) is recommended. The onset of immunity is faster (7days) with inactivated adjuvanted RHDV2 vaccines than with Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS (21 days).
  • An annual booster vaccination with Nobivac Myxo-RHD PLUS should be all that is required once a rabbit is up to date with RHDV1, RHDV2 and myxomatosis vaccinations.