VACCINES play a vital role in controlling and preventing infectious diseases in small animals. Vaccination is an established concept for preventive health care and an important source of income for most veterinary practices. Although most veterinary surgeons administer vaccines daily, it has become such a routine part of the working day that few stop to consider the science behind this aspect of veterinary medicine. In the late 1990s, potential side effects of vaccination were highlighted by both the medical and veterinary communities, and ideal vaccination protocols have been hotly debated ever since. This article outlines the current recommendations for vaccination in dogs and cats, explains the rationale behind them and discusses some of the more recent developments in this field.
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