VAFSTF Vaccine Site Recommendations

For the last several years, veterinarians have noticed an increase in the incidence of sarcoma formation at commonly used feline vaccine sites. The Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force (VAFSTF), formed to address this evolving and important issue, consists of representatives from the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Cancer Society, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the Animal Health Institute, and the Cornell Feline Health Center.

The task force has made initial vaccine-site recommendations in concert with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (Feline Sarcoma Task Force Meets. J.Amer.Vet.Med.Assn. 210, 310-311). In short, the task force recommends that vaccines containing rabies antigen be given as distally as possible in the right rear limb, vaccines containing feline leukemia virus antigen (unless containing rabies antigen as well) be given as distally as possible in the left rear limb, and vaccines containing any other antigens except rabies or feline leukemia virus be given on the right shoulder, being careful to avoid the midline or interscapular space.

The VAFSTF recently funded four studies designed to further clarify the epidemiology, etiology, and treatment of these rare but uniformly aggressive tumors (Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force Awards Research Grants. J.Amer.Vet.Med.Assn. 212, 162-163); financial support of appropriate studies is expected to be a continuing need for the foreseeable future.

The task force wishes to remind you of the importance of this syndrome by providing a list of selected references.

For further information, contact Cornell Feline Health Center, Ithaca, New York, 14853, FAX (607) 253-3419.