Veterinarians Urged to Follow Vaccine Label Directions

Administering improperly mixed vaccines could harm patients and increase a veterinarian’s liability risk, according to a newly published JAVMA News article.

The USDA was recently alerted by the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association of an emerging vaccination practice, specifically the use of a liquid rabies vaccine as a diluent for reconstituting a canine distemper vaccine. At first blush, it might seem reasonable to mix a number of vaccines in one syringe for administering to a patient, but the AVMA’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents (COBTA) and its Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee (CPAC) point out that there are substantial pitfalls to improper vaccine mixing:

  • Decreased efficacy (or no activity at all) of the mixed vaccines
  • Increased adverse events including injection site reactions or even systemic reactions
  • Potential toxin overload from vaccine adjuvants

COBTA/CPAC members also warn that improper vaccine mixing can become especially dangerous when administering to pediatric or senior patients. Not to mention that if the patient is receiving a potentially inactive vaccine mixture, the veterinarian has effectively modified the vaccination series protocols without scientific information to determine how protected the animal is from disease and when to revaccinate.

2 thoughts on “Veterinarians Urged to Follow Vaccine Label Directions

  1. @Kevin Bailey
    Thanks for your affirmation, Dr. Bailey! We wholeheartedly agree with the need to mix and use vaccines appropriately and not to “think outside the box” when it comes to following the manufacturer’s directions on preparing the vaccine for administration.

  2. I completely agree with this article. It is very important to follow guidelines and regulations at all times, regardless. While something may “seem” like a good idea, it does not mean it is one. Let thinking outside of the box to those who are qualified and trained for it, not for veterinarians to test on patients that are in pain and need treatment.

    Not to mention, it is definitely not worth losing your license over trying a mixture of vaccinations to try and come up with a solution to a virus or disease. It is not worth the trouble. I have a blog that talks about veterinary technicians and have some pretty solid articles on there. If you have time you should check it out.