Animal Vaccination Concerns:
Vaccine-Associated Auto-Immune And Other Diseases
by Michael W. Fox BVetMed, PhD, DSc, MRCVS***
By way of introduction to this critical review, I wish to make it clear at the onset that I am not opposed to the judicious use of vaccines. My approval is conditioned on the proviso that the deployed vaccines have high levels of proven safety and effectiveness for each species upon which they are used, and requires that they become part of an integrated, holistic health care and disease prevention program. When used as a sole therapy, vaccines do not constitute an effective preventive medicine regime. The myth of infectious and contagious diseases having a single cause—the infective organism—is at long last being abandoned as other co-factors are now being more widely recognized, extending the narrow view that developing a specific vaccine is all one requires to reduce the morbidity and mortality of a given disease.
As a veterinarian I am concerned about the consequences of the widespread dissemination of modified live virus (MLV) and genetically engineered (GE) virus strains through the mass vaccinations of humans, livestock and poultry, and in-house companion animals. Read more »
by W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Background There is no doubt that application of modern vaccine technology has permitted us to protect companion animals effectively against serious infectious diseases.
Viral disease and recent vaccination with single or combination modified live-virus (MLV) vaccines, especially those containing distemper virus, adenovirus 1 or 2, and parvovirus are increasingly recognized contributors, albeit relatively rare, to immune-mediated blood disease, bone marrow failure, and organ dysfunction. Potent adjuvanted killed vaccines like those for rabies virus also can trigger immediate and delayed (vaccinosis) adverse vaccine reactions. Genetic predisposition to these disorders in humans has been linked to the leucocyte antigen D-related gene locus of the major histocompatibility complex, and is likely to have parallel associations in domestic animals.
It must be recognized, however, that we have the luxury of asking such questions today only because the risk of disease has been effectively reduced by the widespread use of vaccination programs.
Adverse Events Associated with Vaccination The clinical signs associated with vaccine reactions typically include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, neurological disorders and encephalitis, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and icterus (autoimmune hemolytic anemia, AIHA, also called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, IMHA), or generalized petechiae and ecchymotic hemorrhages (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia , ITP). Hepatic enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may occur by itself or accompany bone marrow suppression.
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MINIMAL VACCINE USE
Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those cats where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.
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