Summary of The Rabies Challenge Fund Duration of Immunity Study

Written by Jan on July 12, 2013 – 2:33 pm

I’m a great supporter of, and volunteer fundraiser for, the Rabies Challenge Fund.  Here are preliminary results of the current study.

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A study conducted according to the USDA Title 9 canine vaccine licensing standard, was begun more than five years ago. The purpose was to determine if the duration of immunity from commercially available rabies vaccines was longer than 3 years, with the goal of extending state-mandated rabies boosters for dogs to 5, and then 7 years.

The first rabies vaccine studied was selected based on the superior response it provided in the USDA challenge trials for licensing. Another licensed rabies vaccine was administered to a second, separate group of dogs 2 years after the first study began so that a minimum of two commercially available rabies vaccines would be tested.

The second vaccine selected is the one currently administered to a very high percentage of dogs. Both vaccines demonstrated excellent protection based on antibody testing for each of the first three study years. However, fewer than 30% of dogs in the first vaccine group, now five years since vaccination, had serum rabies antibody titer levels considered positive on the Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFIT). (Note: RFFIT is the rabies titer standard established by the Centers for Disease Control within the USA [0.1 IU/mL] and the World Health Organization [0.5 IU/mL] for export to other rabies-free locations to be adequate to protect humans, not dogs, against rabies. There is no established standard for dogs, which means that the human standards must be extrapolated when assessing protection for other species.) Some of the dogs with low or no detected RFFIT antibody were further tested to determine if they had “immunologic memory”. This in vitro test shows whether memory is present or not, even in cases when serum antibody cannot be detected at a level considered to be protective. The results of this further testing indicated that most of the dogs vaccinated five years ago, even without a positive RFFIT, do have “immunologic memory”. As soon as a USDA licensed facility can be reserved, we plan to challenge some of those dogs with rabies virus to determine if the memory response demonstrated actually correlates with protection.

Our conclusion from studies with the initial rabies vaccine is that the immunity conferred by that product, and assessed by the in vitro RFFIT, was excellent for the first three years, but declined during the fourth year, and continued to drop during the fifth year. The second vaccine group, which is now three years from vaccination, will remain on study for at least two more years.

Principal Investigator, Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, is preparing results of the study and details described above for scientific peer review and publication. That data will be made available to the public as soon as our paper has been accepted for publication. After completion of the peer-review process, it is our hope that this data will establish the world’s first canine rabies titer standard. If this data is further verified by challenge, it will provide a solid scientific base enabling states to incorporate titer clauses into their laws.

Related Information:

The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
Rabies Vaccination Caution: A Veterinarian Speaks Out
Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs
AVMA Passes a Rabies Vaccination Waiver Recommendation
Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions?
Vaccination Reactions Can Mimic Disease Symptoms Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details

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Tags: dog, rabies, Rabies Challenge Fund, rabies shot, rabies vaccine, results, study
Posted under Rabies Shots, Titer Testing, Vaccination | 1 Comment » | Email This Post

AVMA Passes a Rabies Vaccination Waiver Recommendation

Written by Jan on March 26, 2012 – 5:36 pm

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has passed The Annual Rabies Vaccination waiver.  What does it mean?  Kris Christine, Founder of the Rabies Challenge Fund, says: “It will help us in our efforts to get exemption legislation passed!”

I say, it should also provide “cover” to those wonderful veterinarians who fight for our dogs every day.

The AVMA language says: “[The] AVMA recognizes some animals might require a waiver from rabies vaccination because the vaccination poses an unacceptably high risk to the health of the individual animal …. Read more »

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Tags: dogs, rabies exemption, rabies shots, rabies vaccination exemption, rabies vaccine
Posted under Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 9 Comments » | Email This Post

Rabies Vaccination Caution: A Veterinarian Speaks Out

Written by Jan on November 22, 2010 – 4:45 pm

I recently posted Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely.  Adverse reactions to rabies vaccines are the most common reactions reported to the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics.  Some reactions are mild — but others can prove deadly. A little knowledge can help you prevent many of them.  

After reading my article, Patricia Jordan, veterinarian, vaccination expert and author of Mark of the Beast, sent me some additional cautions to pass along (condensed with her permission).  Please read my first article in addition to this one.  Here are Dr. Jordan’s tips augmented with a few thoughts from me:

1. Get the vaccine name, serial number, lot number and expiration date.  Vets move away, retire and lose records — and vaccines are recalled. You’ll be prepared in case an adverse reaction shows up (which could be as long as 10 years later as in the case of mast cell tumors).  Even if your dog or cat has an immediate reaction, you’ll want to  file a report with the manufacturer yourself.  (Sometimes medical expenses will be reimbursed by the manufacturer, but too few vets take the time to report the reaction.) Read more »

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Tags: cat, dog, preventing vaccine reactions, rabies shot, rabies vaccination, rabies vaccine, shot reactions, side effects, vaccination reactions, vaccine reactions
Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 17 Comments » | Email This Post

Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

Written by Jan on September 23, 2010 – 12:01 am

Peaches Displaying Her Rabies Vaccine Reaction

Note: this is an expanded version of an article by Jan Rasmusen previously published by DogsNaturallyMagazine.com

Animal Control sends a notice stating that your dog’s rabies vaccination is due. Some of us will vaccinate readily. Because it’s legally mandated, it must be safe, right? Besides, what choice do we have?

Others of us panic, desperate to avoid the shot at any cost. We remember what happened the last time our dog had a rabies vaccination. We wonder, will our dog survive another?

World-renowned pet vaccination scientist, Dr. Jean Dodds, wrote recently: “Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).”

An adverse reaction to a rabies vaccine may exact a high price – to your dog’s health and your wallet. Here’s what you need to know to make vaccinating your dog safer:

1. Learn to recognize adverse reactions. Short-term reactions include vomiting, facial Read more »

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Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 82 Comments » | Email This Post

Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs

Written by Jan on June 15, 2010 – 10:42 am

Note: This letter by Dr. Jean Dodds is important to everyone living in a state (including California) that does not allow medical exemptions from rabies vaccination even if  vaccination may kill the animal.  See the rabies laws in the US, plus the states offering medical exemptions, at www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws  PERMISSION TO CROSS POST.

California is currently considering AB2000, a bill to allow dogs with health problems an exemption to rabies vaccination until their health improves enough to get the vaccine. Early on this bill had a quarantine clause which was removed because of public outcry. This law, called Molly’s Law because Molly’s owners asked for an exemption that was not allowed, is supported by me and by the Rabies Challenge Fund.  The Concerned Dog Owners of California, another supportive group, report that AB2000 is supported by the California Veterinary Medical Association, Save Our Dogs, PetPac, HSUS, ASPCA  and dog owners all over the state.  However, the California of Public Health has recently come out against it.  Below is Dr. Jean Dodds’ response to their letter. It is posted here with Dr. Dodds’ permission. Read more »

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Tags: AB 2000, AB2000, dogs, exemptions, Jean Dodds, medical, rabies, Rabies Challenge Fund, rabies law, rabies shot, rabies vaccine, Safety, sick dogs
Posted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Vaccination | 24 Comments » | Email This Post