LAS VEGAS — A comprehensive feline vaccination report from the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) is in the drafting
stage from a multidisciplinary panel of experts.
Dr. James Richards, director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, told attendees of the
Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) that AAFP's vaccination recommendations are tentatively slated for publication mid-summer
The vaccination report is expected to outline guidelines for shelters, trap-neuter-release programs, immunocompromised patients
and those felines impacted by previous adverse events.
Richards says one of the key premises of the report is: "We need to vaccinate more cats in the population, just not the same
ones over and over again."
Since its original publication in 2000, the report is expected to detail updates regarding immune response, duration of immunity,
vaccine types, routes of administration, patient considerations, vaccine antigens: core vs. non-core vaccines for feline patients.
The report will emphasize how to:
- Maximize potential benefits while minimizing potential risks in each individual cat.
- Vaccinate the largest possible number of animals in the population at risk.
- Vaccinate only against infectious agents to which the animal has a realistic risk of exposures, realistic risk of infection
(if exposed), realistic risk of disease (if infected).
- Vaccinate only as frequently as necessary.
"Vaccination plays an important role in the control of infectious disease," and as such is a medical procedure that should
be undertaken with the same consideration as other medical procedures, Richards adds.
While adverse events remain rare, they do occur. Therefore, feline vaccine protocols should be tailored to the specific needs
of the patient, he told WVC attendees.
Talk with clients about the risks and rewards of vaccination. "There is some confusion in minds of clients regarding what
is protection," he adds.