Tag Archives: booster

Over-vaccination of dogs with parvovirus and other vaccines remains prevalent practice

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Dogs in Australia and elsewhere continue to be grossly over-vaccinated.  These companion animals and their owners are being exploited by the veterinary industry.

See below my recent email on this matter to Ms Kareena Arthy, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).  

The APVMA is the body responsible for ‘regulating’ veterinary vaccine products in Australia.

_____________________________________________________________

23 April 2014

Ms Arthy

Further to my previous extensive correspondence with the APVMA and others on the subject of over-vaccination of dogs.  (Please refer to hyperlinked list of correspondence below, including correspondence with Dr Allen Bryce, Executive Director of the APVMA’s Veterinary Medicines Program.  My colleague Bea Mies has also undertaken extensive correspondence on this matter.)

The APVMA’s Position Statement – Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats, last amended in September 2010, notes: “The APVMA does not support the retention of label statements that direct or imply a universal need for life-long annual revaccinations with core vaccines.  The APVMA supports the AVA’s vaccination policy and is of the view that product labels should be amended to align with that policy.  The APVMA is working with vaccine registrants with a view to updating labels.” (My emphasis.)

It is now April 2014 and still core vaccine products with an annual revaccination ‘recommendation’ remain on the market.  For example Virbac Australia’s Canigen C4 DHA2PPI Quadrivalent Living Vaccine states: “An annual booster is recommended”.  (Note: The label for Virbac’s Canigen DHA2P Trivalent Living Vaccine is currently not accessible on the PUBCRIS website.)

On what evidence is this ‘recommendation’ for an ‘annual booster’ with core vaccines based?

In August 2013, I forwarded a letter to Professor Ronald Schultz of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Vaccination Guidelines Group, challenging the confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in relation to canine core modified live virus (MLV) vaccines for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus, suggesting that use of the term ‘booster’ is resulting in extensive over-vaccination of already immune dogs.  My letter can be accessed via this link:  http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Query_re_MLV_boosters.pdf

In his email response of 22 August 2013, Professor Schultz said: “I agree that the term “booster” is misleading in that many of the already immune dogs probably receive no beneficial “booster effect” from an infectious vaccine because the virus (e.g. CDV, CPV-2, CAV-2)* is immediately neutralized.  Therefore, it cannot infect the cells and replicate! It is only in those dogs that have no viral antibody that the vaccine will booster the immune system, both the cellular and humoral response to the virus.  It is these antibody negative dogs that I recommend revaccinating, not dogs with detectable antibody.  There are, however, components of the vaccines that are almost always boostered such as fetal bovine serum components and other extraneous proteins that are in all vaccines.  Obviously, these are components of the vaccine we don’t want to boost especially in a dog that genetically is predisposed to an adverse reaction (e.g. hypersensitivity).  That is why we are trying to prevent annual revaccination with the Core Vaccines that provide long term immunity in a majority of most dogs, but not all!” (*Note: CDV, CPV-2 and CAV-2 are the canine diseases distemper virus, parvovirus and adenovirus [hepatitis]).

It is my strong suspicion that annual revaccination of dogs with core MLV vaccine products remains prevalent practice in Australia.  See for example the attached article published in Dogs NSW in September 2013: “The Deadly Canine Parvovirus – Is Your Dog At Risk?”.  My response to this article is attached.  Also attached is the response by pro-annual vaccination vet Robert Zammit, and Virbac/ASAVA’s Mark Kelman.

See also this ‘Vaccination Guide’ from Greencross Vets which recommends revaccination every year with core vaccines for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus (and non-core vaccines parainfluenza and bordetella).

Pet owners and their pets are being grossly exploited by the prevalent practice of over-vaccination due to the non-evidence based revaccination ‘recommendations’ on APVMA approved core MLV vaccine product labels.  I also strongly suspect most pet owners are not being informed of the option of in-clinic and lab-based antibody titre testing to verify a response to core MLV vaccination.

Ms Arthy, on what evidence does the APVMA continue to re-register canine core MLV vaccine products which recommend repeated revaccination of adult dogs?

I request your urgent response on this matter.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

See below hyperlinks to some of my correspondence, submissions and articles on over-vaccination of pets:

Key documents:

Correspondence with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), and others:

Correspondence with the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD):

Correspondence with Virbac Animal Health (Disease WatchDog):

Submissions on the subject of unnecessary vaccination of pets:

Correspondence to Members of Parliament:

Articles and summaries re over-vaccination of pets:

Media reports re over-vaccination of pets:

UPDATE: Response from Professor Ronald Schultz re vaccination ‘boosters’ for dogs

dreamstime_xs_29221605In a previous post, Over-vaccination of dogs with unnecessary ‘boosters’, I suggest use of the questionable term ‘booster’ in relation to canine core modified live virus (MLV) vaccines for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus is resulting in extensive unnecessary over-vaccination of already immune dogs.

I forwarded a detailed letter on this matter to Professor Ronald Schultz, a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Vaccination Guidelines Group, complaining about the confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in vaccination guidelines issued by the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group.

I have received a response from Professor Schultz in which he says:

“I agree that the term “booster” is misleading in that many of the already immune dogs probably receive no beneficial “booster effect” from an infectious vaccine because the virus (e.g. CDV, CPV-2, CAV-2)* is immediately neutralized.  Therefore, it cannot infect the cells and replicate!  It is only in those dogs that have no viral antibody that the vaccine will boost the immune system, both the cellular and humoral response to the virus.  It is these antibody negative dogs that I recommend revaccinating, not dogs with detectable antibody.  There are, however, components of the vaccines that are almost always boostered such as fetal bovine serum components and other extraneous proteins that are in all vaccines.  Obviously, these are components of the vaccine we don’t want to boost especially in a dog that genetically is predisposed to an adverse reaction (e.g. hypersensitivity).  That is why we are trying to prevent annual revaccination with the Core Vaccines that provide long term immunity in a majority of most dogs, but not all!”(1)  (*Note: CDV, CPV-2 and CAV-2 are the canine diseases distemper virus, parvovirus and adenovirus [hepatitis]).

hSo I wonder if the WSAVA vaccination guidelines will be amended accordingly?

Meanwhile annual revaccination of dogs for diseases such as parvovirus remains rife in Australia.  A recent article titled “The Deadly Canine Parvovirus – Is Your Dog At Risk?”, published in Dogs NSW magazine in September 2013, works as a fear-mongering advertorial for the veterinary industry, including the key message: “Always have your vaccinations up to date: Make sure dogs are vaccinated as puppies and then annually thereafter.”(2) (My emphasis.)

Business as usual then for the over-vaccinating veterinary industry… 

I am pursuing this matter further.

Postscript:  In his response to me, Professor Schultz refers to “fetal bovine serum components and other extraneous proteins that are in all vaccines.  Obviously, these are components of the vaccine we don’t want to boost especially in a dog that genetically is predisposed to an adverse reaction (e.g. hypersensitivity)”.

Fetal bovine serum is also in the human live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, see for example Merck’s MMR II(3).  So it doesn’t seem like a good idea to have unnecessary doses of MMR vaccine either…  In this regard refer to my letter to Paul Offit: Questioning the ethics of mandated vaccination of children with the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) ‘booster’ second dose.

References:

  1. Email response from Professor Ronald Schultz to Elizabeth Hart, 22 August 2013.  (I have Professor Schultz’s permission to quote him.)
  2. Charlotte Long. The deadly canine parvovirus – is your dog at risk? Dogs NSW, September 2013, pp 21-25.
  3. M-M-R ®II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live). Merck & Co., Inc. http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf

Over-vaccination of dogs with unnecessary ‘boosters’

pet vaxFor those people interested in the ongoing over-vaccination of pets scandal, I recently forwarded a letter to Professor Ronald Schultz, a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Vaccination Guidelines Group, and the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccination Task Force, complaining about the confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in vaccination guidelines.

The email below summarises my complaint.  My detailed letter can be accessed via this hyperlink:  Letter to Professor Ronald Schultz re confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’

________________________

From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 3:18 PM
Subject: Re: Confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in relation to modified live virus (MLV) vaccines

Professor Schultz

Please see attached a detailed letter addressed to you criticising the use of the confusing and misleading term ‘booster’ in vaccination guidelines issued by the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group.  This criticism is also relevant to the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

As noted in my letter, I suggest use of the term ‘booster’ in relation to canine core modified live virus (MLV) vaccines for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus is resulting in extensive unnecessary over-vaccination of already immune dogs.

I suspect that many pet owners are still not being informed that there is no evidence to support revaccination of already immune animals with so-called ‘booster’ shots, nor that there is the option of titre testing to verify a response to core MLV vaccination.

This is especially concerning in light of the WSAVA 2010 guidelines warning “that we should aim to reduce the ‘vaccine load’ on individual animals in order to minimize the potential for adverse reactions to vaccine products”, and the WSAVA 2013 guidelines advice that “it is important to give as few vaccines as possible…” and “…any reaction to a vaccine that is not needed is unacceptable”.

There are serious flaws in the WSAVA guidelines 2010 and 2013 which must be rectified.  In addition, the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines should also be subjected to review.

I request your urgent response on this matter.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

*This email and letter is also being circulated to the following:

  • Professor Michael Day, Chairperson, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Marian Horzinek, previous member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Jolle Kirpensteijn, EB Liasison, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Committee
  • Professor Hajime Tsujimoto, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Richard Squires, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Richard Ford, member of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force
  • Dr Carmel Mooney, Editor of the Journal of Small Animal Practice
  • Dr Anna-Maria Brady, Head of Biologicals and Administration, Veterinary Medicines Directorate
  • Dr Allen Bryce, Executive Director, Veterinary Medicines, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Dr Rick E. Hill, Director, Center for Veterinary Biologics, US Department of Agriculture
  • Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • Bea Mies, independent advocate for judicial vaccine use

and will also be circulated to other parties.