1. Theonly vaccine required by U.S. law is rabies.15 states currently offer exemptions to animals with serious health problems and more are adding exemptions. Not all states require cats and ferrets to be vaccinated. Note: because laws change with little fanfare, not all veterinarians know the current regulations. Click here to see a list of U.S. state laws. Double check with your city and county Animal Control.
2. There is little or no research showing that annual revaccination for core vaccines boosts immunity. Studies do show that core vaccines shouldn’t be given any more frequently than every three years — not every three years.
3. Mature dogs and cats rarely die from vaccine-preventable infectious disease and thus may not need vaccinating.
A Purdue University vet school study (by Moore et al), published in 2005 in the AVMA Journal and widely-cited elsewhere (see AAHA Guidelines p. 22), tracked vaccine reactions occurring within 72 hours of vaccination for 1.2 million dogs vaccinated at 360 veterinary hospitals. It showed that small breed dogs receiving multiple vaccines per office visit were at greatest risk of a vaccine reaction. The report recommends: These factors should be considered in risk assessment and risk communication with clients regarding vaccination.
“The VAAE [reaction] rate decreased significantly as body weight increased. Risk was 27% to 38% greater for neutered versus sexually intact dogs and 35% to 64% greater for dogs approximately 1 to 3 years old versus 2 to 9 months old. The risk of a VAAE significantly increased as the number of vaccine doses administered per office visit increased; each additional vaccine significantly increased risk of an adverse event by 27% in dogs ≤ 10 kg (22 lb) and 12% in dogs > 10 kg.”Read more »