The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has moved to clear up “apparent discrepancies” between global canine vaccination guidelines and advice available to vets in the UK.

NOAH issued a statement for veterinary surgeons on canine vaccination that discusses what it believes to be inconsistencies between global vaccination guidelines and advice contained within vaccine Summary of Product Characteristics (SPCs) and datasheets in the UK. 
NOAH technical executive, veterinary surgeon Donal Murphy, explained: “NOAH members have received queries from practitioners seeking clarification when guidance written from a global perspective appears to differ from specific manufacturers’ instructions, as set out in vaccine SPCs and datasheets in the UK.
“For example, there have been queries regarding the messages within the recent publication from WSAVA, Vaccination Guidelines for New Puppy Owners.  
“While there are some differences, we believe the profession within the UK has adopted many of the principles of the WSAVA guidance for some considerable time, such as annual health checks and determining individual requirements in consultation with the owner”.
NOAH says it welcomes any guidance assisting the veterinary profession in its determination of vaccine protocols and helping to educate the public. 
However, it goes on to say the guidance, while promoting the benefits of vaccination, appears to be at variance with many of the protocols that practices have adopted and the advice contained within the datasheets and SPCs for the vaccines licensed in the UK.
The apparent discrepancies flagged by NOAH include the advice in the guidelines document regarding vaccination protocols, the routine use of non-core vaccines (particularly Leptospirosis and kennel cough), the role of serology testing to determine vaccination requirements and vaccine safety.
Mr Murphy said: “In the light of increased movement of pets from mainland Europe and beyond, the continued wide distribution of canine parvovirus and indeed the re-emergence of confirmed cases of canine distemper in a number of locations in the UK, the threat of infectious disease to our pets is ever present and demands that a high level of vaccinal immunity is maintained across the country. 
“It would be unfortunate if in seeking to provide ‘best practice’ advice on the use of vaccines, expert guidance was to lose sight of the need to maintain the confidence of both the pet owning public and indeed the veterinary profession itself in the continued value of the use of vaccines to keep significant infectious disease threats at bay.”
The full statement is available to download from the NOAH website.
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