Does a single vaccination protect my pet for life?

Each pet responds differently. Legally, the manufacturer’s authorisation to sell the vaccine and the recommendations for its use are based on the minimum period of protection for any animal vaccinated with the product in question.

Major studies have already been carried out to determine whether this minimum period can be extended. As a result, some vaccines are now licensed to protect pets for up to three years against some diseases.

However, it is vital to realise that for some diseases, protection is much shorter. Especially for leptospirosis in dogs – no vaccine will protect your pet for more than a year. This is real data, rather than the result of the licensing authorities taking time to catch up: studies have shown that even with one of the best leptospirosis vaccines, protection starts to decline after about 12 months.

Are annual boosters really necessary?

So, to simplify the previous point: yes, annual boosters are still necessary against some diseases. But not all.

Each year, on your annual visit, your vet will administer only those vaccines needed to maintain protection. These days the vet’s primary objective is to use the minimum number of vaccine components while at the same time maintaining the optimum protection for your pet. Some vaccines for dogs are now licensed to provide three years protection against parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper.

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