June 02, 2009

Update (2): Bell County TX Debate Continues

KXXV television, Killeen TX, reports that Bell County Commissioners have their heads stuck solidly in concrete over the rabies vaccine interval.

Reject the challenge studies approved by the USDA to prove minimum duration of immunity. Reject the rabies control and prevention guidelines standardized by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and accepted by 50 states including Texas. Deny the endorsement of American Veterinary Medical Association, American Feline Practitioners Association, American Animal Hospital Association, immunologists and clinicians at 22 veterinary schools in North America.

Bell County Rabies Debate

We're not talking about our "beliefs," these are scientific facts.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, “The minimum DOI for killed rabies vaccine based on challenge studies is 3 years; based on antibody titers, it is considered to be up to 7 years [Table2].”

The Populations at Risk for Rabies sheet from Chiron Corporation, manufacturers of the RabAvert rabies vaccines for humans, recommends pre-exposure vaccination for veterinarians, who are at greater risk than the general population for contracting rabies because their profession brings them into physical contact with potentially rabid animals, is for a “Primary course. No serologic testing or booster vaccination.”

In other words, after the initial series of rabies vaccinations, it is not recommended that veterinarians receive further boosters or serological testing.

Interestingly, the AAHA's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines state on Page 18 that “There is no indication that the immune system of canine patients functions in any way different from the human immune system. In humans, the epidemiological vigilance associated with vaccination is extremely well-developed and far exceeds similar efforts in animals whether companion or agricultural. This vigilance in humans indicates that immunity induced by vaccination in humans is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, life-long.” This strongly suggests that, like the human rabies vaccine, the canine rabies vaccine may provide life-long immunity as well -- something which could be determined by long-term challenge now undertaken by the Rabies Challenge Fund and privately funded.

Since Dr. Warren Dunn, as a practicing veterinarian, "believes" there would be vaccine failure, and has far higher risk of exposure to rabies than your average family pet, how many rabies booster shots has he had? Surely he would rather be "safe than sorry" with his own health. 

I bet. 

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