Vaccination GUIDELINES for the cat were first published in 1998; canine GUIDELINES followed in 2003. By the end of 2006, both sets of GUIDELINES had been reviewed extensively, updated, and published. Today, the complete text of both the AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines (
http://www.aahanet.org/) and the AAFP Feline Vaccine Guidelines (
http://www.catvets.com/ [NOTE: this is a new name for the AAFP website]) is available to the entire profession. Let there be no question...veterinarians
continue to pay close attention to the numerous, sometimes controversial, presentations and publications that address how
we should select and use vaccines in companion animal practice. Yet, whether or not you intend to implement any of the recommendations
outlined, every clinician should at least read the GUIDELINES. These 2 publications serve as a critical resource for any veterinary practice engaged in administering vaccines to dogs
and cats. The pace of change regarding vaccine technology along with new product introductions virtually mandates that veterinarians
carefully assess the manner in which vaccines are selected and used.
Table 1: CORE Canine Vaccines and Recommendations for Administration
Today...there's simply no room for complacency with respect to developing a rational vaccination protocol. It's a fact...there are too many issues and too many new facts to ignore the changes impacting the selection and use of vaccine.
Table 2: NON-CORE Canine Vaccines and Recommendations for Administration
Perhaps the single most significant challenge regarding implementation of a vaccine protocol in practice today is the number
of vaccines available today. At this writing, there are approximately 26 vaccine antigen types for the dog and 18 types for
the cat...combined, there are over 150 proprietary (trade name) vaccines in the US! Just months after publication of the 2006 Feline Vaccination Guidelines, 2 new vaccines were licensed
(VS Feline Calicivirus and Canine Malignant Melanoma-therapeutic vaccine); throughout 2008 it is reasonable to expect additional canine & feline vaccines will be licensed.
But...it's not just the number of new vaccines that impact vaccination protocols used in practice...it's the frequency of
vaccination, it's the duration of immunity of the various vaccines we use, it's the dramatic change occurring in vaccine technology
and development, it's vaccine safety, it includes medical, legal, and ethical responsibilities...and more.
TABLE 3: Miscellaneous Canine Vaccines not evaluated by the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force.
The objective of this presentation is not to attempt defining standards for vaccinating dogs and cats...nor is it to recommend
a universal vaccination protocol. Instead, it's to facilitate the efforts of individual clinicians in implementing a rational vaccination program, consistent with current body of knowledge.
Table 4: CORE Feline Vaccines and Recommendations for Administration