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I would like to make you aware that the American Association of Feline Practitioners , The Academy of Veterinary Internal Medicine, The American Animal Hospital Association, The American Veterinary Medical Association , Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, and 22 Veterinary Schools in North America have changed  their recommended protocols for vaccinating cats & dogs.(6, 15, 21) Our knowledge about immunity and the quality of available vaccines has improved greatly over the past seven   years. 

The AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents (COBTA) presented their consensus at the July, 2000 137th Annual AVMA Convention.
They focused on the following points:

When an annual booster vaccination  with a modified live virus vaccine (i.e. Distemper , Parvovirus  or Fe Distemper) is given to a previously vaccinated adult  animal - no added protection is provided.  Modified live virus vaccines depend on the replication of the virus for a response. Antibodies from previous vaccines do not allow the new virus to replicate. Antibody titers are not boosted significantly, memory cell populations are not expanded. No additional protection is provided.(23)
Vaccine Manufacturers label claims should be backed by scientific data. There is no scientific data to support label directions for re-administration of MLV vaccines annually.(23)

Vaccinations are important for the prevention of diseases. Annual physical exams at the time of vaccination help improve health by the early detection of treatable disease and contribute to the overall quality of life.
Vaccines are not harmless. Unnecessary side effects and adverse events can be minimized by avoiding unnecessary vaccinations. 
Virus drift is small. There are no new parvovirus strains, and the virus in the vaccine has remained essentially the same.
Average pets are similar enough in their exposure to infectious disease and in their response  to vaccines that we can have a Standard recommended Vaccination Protocol.
The AVMA Council for Biologic and Therapeutic Agents COBTA urges the USDA, Center for Veterinary Biologics to revise its standards for the licensing of animal vaccines and the USDA. CVB has agreed that this should be done.
Veterinarians need a standard procedure to report adverse events from vaccinations
Unfortunately, members of the COBTA  appear to have yielded to political pressure with-in the AVMA, and from drug companies. Their final document, Principals of Vaccination is so watered down and so ambiguous in its wording, that it is hard to decipher, and can easily be misinterpreted. In many instances they did an about- face without any scientific basis, perhaps to avoid alienating members.

This new information has presented an ethical and economic challenge to veterinarians. There are skeptics, and there are those who remain un-informed.  I think you will agree with me that in the practice of medicine, the emphasis should be on safety, and that no medicine should be given more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than is necessary.

Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years (15-p41) to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions, or the doctor's economic well being should not be a factor in medical decisions.

                                                   Sincerely,
                                           
      Dr. Bob Rogers

       


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The Better Business Bureau. Education Foundation
Torch Awards for Excellence in Business Ethics
Presented to Dr. Bob Rogers
for Public Education about New Vaccination Recommendations