American Association of Equine Practitioners
A “standard” vaccination program for all horses does not exist. Each individual situation requires evaluation based on the following criteria:
· Risk of disease (anticipated exposure, environmental factors, geographic factors, age, breed, use and sex of the horse)
· Consequences of the disease (morbidity/mortality, zoonotic potential)
· Anticipated effectiveness of the selected product(s)
· Potential for adverse reactions to a vaccine(s)
· Cost of immunization (time, labor and vaccine costs) vs. potential cost of disease (time out of competition; impact of movement restrictions imposed in order to control an outbreak of contagious disease; labor and medication if, or when, horses develop clinical disease and require treatment, or loss of life.).
It is estimated that a single horse infected with influenza may cost in excess of $800 and experts recommend minimizing activity (training) for 1 week for every DAY of fever.!
Clients should have realistic expectations and understand that:
· Vaccination alone, in the absence of good management practices directed at infection control, is not sufficient for the prevention of infectious disease.
· Vaccination serves to minimize the risks of infection but cannot prevent disease in all circumstances.
· The primary series of vaccines and booster doses should be appropriately administered prior to likely exposure.
· Each horse in a population is not protected to an equal degree nor for an equal duration following vaccination.
· Protection is not immediately afforded the patient after administration of a vaccine that is designed to induce active immunity. In most instances, a priming series of multiple doses of a vaccine must be administered initially for that vaccine to induce protective active immunity.
· All horses in a herd should be vaccinated at intervals based on the professional opinion of the attending veterinarian.
Ideally, the same schedule is followed for all horses in a population, thus simplifying record keeping, minimizing replication and transmission of infectious agents in a herd and indirectly protecting those horses in the herd that responded poorly to vaccination, thereby optimizing herd-immunity.)
· A properly administered, licensed product should not be assumed to provide complete protection during any given field epidemic.
· Although rare, there is potential for adverse reactions despite appropriate handling and