Task Force Issues Horse Vaccination Recommendations The Vaccination Task Force of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAPEP) has issued revised guidelines for the administration of vaccinations to horses. The seven-member Task Force has made recommendations for the use of vaccines based on the age, location, and type and level of activity of the horse. The guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for veterinarians as they employ vaccines in their respective practices. Highlights of "Guidelines for Vaccination of Horses" include: The addition of vaccination protocols for rabies, Potomac horse fever, botulism, rotavirus A and equine viral arthritis. Expanded recommendations for developing a vaccination schedule for foals and weanlings, taking into consideration both the vaccinated and non-vaccinated mares. Guidelines on administration of live-virus injectable, killed-virus injectable, and intranasal modified live-virus vaccines. As part of the guidelines, the Task Force stresses that a standard vaccination program does not exist. Each individual situation must be evaluated based on the risk of the disease, potential for adverse reactions to a vaccine, anticipated efficacy of the selected product, and cost. Veterinarians, through an appropriate veterinarian-client-patient relationship, should use the guidelines coupled with available products to determine the best professional care for their patients. "These guidelines incorporate scientific information learned in recent years regarding horses' responses to the biologics used for active immunization against certain infectious diseases," explained Gordon Brumbaugh, DVM, of Texas A&M University and chairman of the Vaccination Task Force. "The expanded information on equine influenza vaccination as well as the recommendations for vaccinating foals born to appropriately vaccinated mares versus foals born to non-vaccinated mares will be of benefit to veterinarians and horse owners alike." The Task Force, which was comprised of researchers, vaccine manufacturers and private practitioners, updated guidelines that were established by the AAEP in 1995. To obtain a copy of "Guidelines for Vaccination of Horses," contact the AAPEP office at 859-233-0147. The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its 6,500 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.
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