Current Vaccine Recommendations: Are They Changing?

June 23, 2018

Do you recommend annual vaccinations or boosters every 3 years?

Veterinarians legally have discretion in selecting and using vaccines, says Richard Ford, DVM, MS, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. If you're recommending annual vaccinations or boosters every 3 years, he says you're still practicing in accordance with veterinary medicine.

One exception, though, is rabies. Dr. Ford says veterinarians do not have discretion in the administrating of the rabies vaccine because it's dictated, in most cases, by state law or local ordinances.

Dr. Ford says that about 70% of practicing veterinarians in the United States and Canada recommend boosters every 3 years, but there is still a small contingent of veterinarians that prefer to follow the manufacturer label recommendations—annual booster recommendations. But he says for the first time in over 40 years, this recommendation is going to be removed from manufacturer inserts. It's not an easy process and takes about 4 years, but Dr. Ford says we're probably about halfway through that timeline at this point.