The Current State of Veterinary Vaccines

August 21, 2018

Richard Ford, DVM, MS, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, explains where veterinary vaccines are strong and where there is still room for improvement.

Richard Ford, DVM, MS, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, explains where veterinary vaccines are strong and where there is still room for improvement.

"Well certainly, there's always diseases that seem to be emerging, and I think as far as the cat is concerned, we can probably use better vaccines that provide a more comprehensive level of protection. And actually we've done a really good job with canine vaccine.

So, we've got excellent coverage right now, but I think most veterinarians are aware we see these organisms emerge, and the influenza occurrence we've had over the last several years is an example of how new diseases creep into the picture, and then there are new vaccine needs. So, it’s something we've got the ability to detect, but until they do, right now I think the coverage is really good.

One exception to your question is in the arena of therapeutic vaccines, and more technically correct is therapeutic biologics. They're immunotherapeutic products, they're not vaccines in the conventional sense, but they are biologic products that treat, not prevent, disease—largely cancer. That's interesting to note that we have a cancer biologic or vaccine for canine oral melanoma its quite an exceptional product, but recently released is a vaccine for osteosarcoma, bone cancer, in dogs. These are revolutionary changes in the use of biologics to treat disease and I would expect further expansion of that market."