My vet has sent a reminder card to let me know that Kiera is due for a couple of vaccines. I’ll bring her in for titers to be taken. I stopped automatically vaccinating some years ago, after I’d extensively read up on the subject.
Here’s the gist of what I’ve learned:
The minimum duration of immunity for the four core vaccines (parvo, distemper, canine Adenovirus and rabies) was 3-7 years. (A USDA study I reviewed similarly showed an average 7-year efficacy for rabies vaccine. Because of the serious and zoonotic nature of this virus, the US has taken a rather bold position of prevention by requiring frequent boosters, 1-3 years in most states. Schultz, a leading vet on vaccine studies, says 3-5 years is sufficient)
Dogs vaccinated (i.e. puppy series of initial vaccine) showed 80% protection when challenged at age 7 with no interim boosters, the same as for dogs given annual boosters. Schultz’s study found 95% of dogs vaccinated initially were protected for life for one or more of the four diseases. Schultz considers current veterinary protocol overkill and annual vaccination unnecessary. (Several vet schools have begun teaching a different view of vaccination, and are moving more towards an every 3-year boostering schedule.)
Schultz’s paper gives a lot more specifics and provides some sound biology for the recommendation for initial vaccination with boosters at age 2, with no further vaccination except rabies at 3-5 year intervals. The non-core vaccines are recommended if dogs are in high exposure conditions/situations.
Individual protocols are recommended for known breed-specific sensitivities, such as using only single vaccines spread over several months for various Hounds, Setters, Danes, Weims etc. (I have a friend with two Coonhounds who came down with autoimmune diseases, triggered within 10 days of vaccination using combination puppy vaccines – Addison’s and HOD -onset at 13 weeks of age.)
This study is consistent with studies I have seen from CDC, USDA-APHIS and drug companies themselves with a few of the core vaccines.
Here are some articles and links to help you make a more informed decision.
Puppy Shot Info by Dr. Schultz
Shots Fired by Denise Flaim, is a very balanced and informed article talking about the changes happening in the veterinary world regarding vaccine protocols.
Wendy Volhard has done quite a bit of research. Here is her article on Vaccination.
2006 AAHA Vaccine Guidelines Lists current recommendations.