Frequency of Administration of Specific Antigens to Cats by Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom
The antigens commonly used to vaccinate cats in the United Kingdom (UK) have traditionally been administered annually. Controversy regarding the frequency of vaccine administration has arisen following concerns regarding the 'over-vaccination' of companion animals and vaccine safety.
A questionnaire concerning vaccination protocols was distributed to 366 practices in the UK as part of an epidemiology study about feline injection site sarcomas. One of the questions asked how frequently each practice recommends vaccinating cats against each of the commonly used antigens: feline herpes/calicivirus (FHV/FCV), feline panleukopenia (FPV), feline leukaemia (FELV), Chlamydophila (CHL) and rabies (RAB).
The response rate was 60% (219/366) after 2 reminders. Not all practices provided an answer for every antigen. 96.8% (212/219) of practices administer FHV/FCV annually. 89.5% (196/219) of practices administer FPV vaccines annually, 3.7% (8/219) biannually and 3.7% (8/219) tri-annually. 84% (184/219) of practices administer FELV vaccines annually, 0.5% bi-annually and 14.2% decide to vaccinate against FELV on an individual cat basis. 20.3% (44/217) of practices administer CHL vaccines annually, 31.8% never use CHL vaccines, 11.1% use the vaccine in breeding households only, and 21.7% decide to vaccinate against CHL on an individual cat basis. 2.8% (6/218) of practices administer RAB vaccines annually, 8.3% (18/218) bi-annually and 22% (48/218) tri-annually. The majority of practices only use RAB vaccines if the patient is going to travel abroad.
These data suggest that the majority of practices in the UK still commonly administer FHV/FCV, FPV and FELV vaccines annually--RAB and CHL vaccines are used less frequently.