Message Number: YG950 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Kate Ball
Date: 2001-03-08 23:29:00 UTC
Subject: vaccines

In the veterinary community there is currently a controversy over vaccines -
are we giving them too often? Does the immunity they impart last longer
than 1 year? Are we overstimulating the immune system and, in doing so,
causing problems? Before there were vaccines, animals would die from lots
of diseases that are now preventable since the advent of vaccines. The
vaccine manufacturers were the ones who dictated that a vaccine should be
boostered on a yearly basis. For years vets followed this recommendation as
the vaccines were doing so much good in reducing the prevalence of these
diseases. It is only lately that this practice has been questioned. I am a
small animal/exotic vet and I try to keep up on all the latest opinions &
research on it. My personal opinion is that the vaccines probably do last
longer than one year, and we should probably back off a bit on vaccine
frequency (depending on each individual animal's risk factors). The trouble
is - though we have all these questions now - we won't get any answers for a
while, because it will take a few years for researchers to follow vaccinated
animals and monitor their titers, and be able to draw conclusions on the
matter. There are alot of different diseases and vaccines and species out
there - that's alot of research and time. Until then, we vets are left with
the original vaccine manufacturers' recommendations of boostering yearly and
our own judgement on a pet by pet basis. Hope this helps!
Kate Ball DVM
Animal Care Clinic of Homer Township
Lockport,IL (Chicago suburbs)
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