June 01, 2001
Posted May 15, 2001
Two years after it began an extensive review of vaccinology and immunology and set out to develop vaccine principles, the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents this spring submitted principles to the Executive Board, and in April the board approved the much-awaited resource.
Questions over duration of immunity and the lack of scientific data to support label recommendations for annual revaccination led the council to undertake this initiative. In its Principles of Vaccination, the council concludes that inadequate data exist to determine scientifically a single best protocol for vaccination or revaccination.
Instead, the principles call for "a customized approach to vaccination recommendations to best match the variation in the patients presented for immunization." Variations exist not only in patients and lifestyles but also among vaccine products.
The principles acknowledge that the one-year revaccination frequency recommendation found on many vaccine labels is based on historical precedent and USDA regulation, not on scientific data.
The council's two-year study included a review of scientific literature and interactive testimony with expert groups from academia, the regulatory sector, industry, and veterinary practice.