Letter to the Editor: Comments from a Vet about Over-vaccinating
Dear PetPlace Staff,
I have read with interest your excellent article on over-vaccination. I appreciate your help in helping to educate pet owners.
Most Veterinarians and pet owners are not aware of the volumes of research that has been done and the conclusions that several expert panels have reached.
Dr Ron Schultz has repeated challenge studies that show duration of immunity to distemper and parvovirus is at least three years and probably the life of the pet. Drs Scott and Lapin have studies showing duration of immunity to panluekopenia, rhinotracheitis and calici virus of at least 3 years. Based on this research the major manufacturers of vaccines, Ft Dodge, Intervet, Merial and Scherring all guarantee their vaccines are good for at least three years.
Much more important is the research that shows #1 that antibodies do not declined with time #2 and those antibodies from a previous vaccine will block subsequent vaccines form having any effect just like maternal antibodies can block a vaccine. Dr Tizard published that if a patient has antibodies at the time of vaccination it is not possible to stimulate a further immune response. This is what Dr Schultz was referring to when he published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in August 1995, "The client is paying for something with no effect except the risk of an adverse reaction. " After researching the issue for three years, the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, a panel of 14 experts concluded that "Unnecessary stimulation of the immune system does not enhance the immune status of the patient" and "There is no scientific data to support label recommendations for annual administration of these vaccines."
Schools of Veterinary Medicine like Texas A&M, Cornell, Colorado State and U C Davis, who implemented reduced vaccine schedules 9 years ago, now have the experience to show these reduced vaccine schedules provide the same excellent protection against disease while greatly reducing the number of adverse effects.
I am glad that you pointed out that vaccines are necessary, very safe and have doubtlessly prevented many diseases. I am also very glad that you pointed out that the annual physical exam, by early detection of treatable disease can improve the quality and length of life for our loved ones.
Avoiding unnecessary vaccines is also important the reduce the risk of adverse side effect, and the money saved can be sued for more important things like good dental care.