There is no cure for animals infected with RHDV2, however there are several vaccination options that can help prevent severe disease or death.
RHDV2 Vaccines in the U.S.
A U.S.-produced vaccine for RHDV2 recently became available in the United States under an emergency authorization by the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics. The developer of the vaccine, Medgene Labs, is working with state veterinarians to meet individual state requirements for distribution and reporting of the vaccine. Because of the rapidly expanding availability, you should check with your state’s agriculture agency to determine the status of this vaccine’s availability in your state.
Based on data provided by Medgene Labs, the RHDV2 vaccine is effective at protecting domestic rabbits against severe disease and death. However, the vaccine does not prevent rabbits from becoming infected with RHDV2. Thus, vaccinated rabbits that become infected with RHDV2 could still transmit the virus to domestic and wild rabbits. Until additional research can better understand this risk, it is extremely important that the RHDV2 vaccine is not used in place of transmission prevention measures. Rather, the RHDV2 vaccine should be used as an additional practice designed to slow the impact of this disease on rabbits.
Additional RHDV2 vaccines made in Europe have been imported into some states since the RHDV2 outbreak began in March 2020. However, the availability of a vaccine manufactured in the United States will likely decrease the need to important the European vaccines. You should contact your veterinarian or state agricultural agency with specific questions regarding vaccination of domestic rabbits.