Not all vaccines are the same!
Higher quality vaccines mean less chance of vaccine reactions. We use only Intervet / Schering Plough (Merck Animal Health) for our 3 year vaccines. Intervet is the only company which has a vaccine to be trial tested and challenged to receive a 3 year label from the FDA.
Our hospital only uses non-adjuvanted vaccines on our feline patients. An adjuvant is added to a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to react to the vaccine and thus increase the effectiveness of the vaccine (i.e. to make antibodies to protect your cat in the future). Unfortunately, many of the adjuvanted vaccines have come under scrutiny and may be causing a certain type of cancer (fibrosarcoma) in cats. Even though this vaccine-related fibrosarcoma is rare (about 1 in 10,000 cats), it is an aggressive tumor that is difficult to treat. Why take the risk? Our hospital does not use any adjuvanted vaccines for this reason. We strictly follow the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Vaccine Guidelines. The AAFP recommends core vaccines (rabies vaccine, FVRCP vaccine) to all cats.
Why are adjuvants used in human & K9 vaccines, but not recommended for cats?
Cats are fairly unique in that the increased inflammation at the site of an adjuvanted vaccine leads to scar tissue which in turn can become cancerous. Non adjuvanted vaccines cause much less inflammation, so are less likely to cause a fibrosarcoma. Although there have been a few reports of vaccine associated sarcomas from non adjuvanted vaccines, they are clearly much safer. Mutations that can lead to cancer in cell cultures caused by adjuvanted vaccines and not by non adjuvanted vaccines are compelling evidence that adjuvant increases the risk of vaccine associated fibrosarcomas in cats. Studies have shown that adjuvants have far less effect on dogs. There are currently no non-adjuvanted vaccines made for dogs.
The benefits of vaccinating your pets far outweigh the possible negative side effects of the vaccine. We strongly urge everyone to keep their beloved pets safe and up to date on vaccines.