Madison, Wis. - While controversy on the frequency of vaccine administration continues to stir debate among veterinarians, a taskforce from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has rolled out new canine vaccine recommendations.
Madison, Wis. - While controversy on the frequency ofvaccine administration continues to stir debate among veterinarians, a taskforce from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has rolled out new canine vaccine recommendations.
The executive summary of the Report of the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force appears in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.
The guidelines, among other factors, reconsider a dog'sneed for selected annual shots and call on veterinarians to assess each patient individually.
"AAHA's guidelines are based on limited scientific evidence that is supported by consensus and expert opinion as well as clinical experience," says Michael Paul, DVM, chairperson of theAAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force.
"The guidelines should not be construed as dictating anexclusive protocol, course of treatment or procedure. They serve as a guide for developing vaccine schedules for individual patients."
The panel has split up the array of canine vaccines into one ofthree categories: core (to be administered triennially), noncore (annual undera veterinarian's discretion) and not recommended. See corresponding chartof vaccines.
The guidelines include a review of immunology as it relates tovaccine response, a historical perspective on current vaccinationrecommendations and supportive information to allow practitioners to feelcomfortable developing individualized vaccine protocols.
"Vaccines have many exceptional benefits, but, like anydrug, they also have the potential to cause significant harm," saysimmunologist and taskforce contributor Ronald Schultz, Ph.D., of the Universityof Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Schultz has studied theeffects of vaccinations since the 1970s.
The task force that created the guidelines included privatepractitioners, academic scholars, university clinical specialists and industry representatives who are recognized experts in internal medicine, immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases and companion animal practice.
"The guidelines are a product of many years of clinicalexperience as well as consensus of expert opinion," says Paul. "We expect that the guidelines will be accepted as a flexible tool that allows all veterinarians to develop individualized vaccine recommendations with the input of their clients for every patient."
The complete report includes sections pertaining to immunology,duration of immunity, serological testing, vaccine production, adverse-eventreporting and legal implications of biological use. The full report alsoaddresses how vaccinations serve as a component of comprehensive individualizedcare.
AAHA will provide a presentation on the guidelines at its annualmeeting, March 22-26 in Phoenix.
View more coverage on the issues surrounding canine vaccinationin the April issue of DVM Newsmagazine.