Dr. Ronald Schultz-Immunologist

More is not Better

When it comes to immunity and duration of immunity for vaccines, there is one clear expert. Dr. Ronald D. Schultz is one of perhaps three or four researchers doing challenge studies on veterinary vaccines – and he has been doing these studies for 40 years. It is Dr. Schultz’s work that prompted the AAHA and AVMA to reevaluate vaccine schedules. In 2003, The American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce warned vets in JAAHA (39 March/April 2003) that “Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination; Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination.” “This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.”

“The recommendation for annual re-vaccination is a practice that was officially started in 1978.” says Dr. Schultz. “This recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently. In fact the presence of good humoral antibody levels blocks the anamnestic response to vaccine boosters just as maternal antibody blocks the response in some young animals.”

He adds: “The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated. Annual vaccination for diseases caused by CDV, CPV2, FPLP and FeLV has not been shown to provide a level of immunity any different from the immunity in an animal vaccinated and immunized at an early age and challenged years later. We have found that annual revaccination with the vaccines that provide long-term immunity provides no demonstrable benefit.”

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