September 10, 2018

WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group Visits Mexico

WSAVA recently assessed small animal infectious disease and vaccinology trends in Mexico, and offered practitioners guidance on best vaccine practices.
By Maureen McKinney
WSAVA Vaccine GuidelinesThe World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) recently traveled to Mexico, the final country in its 3-year project dedicated to assessing small companion animal infectious disease and vaccinology across Latin America, to advise veterinarians on best practices in vaccination.

The VGG created the first WSAVA Global Vaccination Guidelines—evidence-based recommendations for optimal practices in the vaccination of dogs and cats—in 2007. The most recent version was released in 2016. Because of the vast differences among countries and geographic regions with regard to the infectious disease prevalence, vaccine product availability, owned versus free-roaming dog and cat populations, practice and client economics, and societal attitudes, the guidelines do not dictate vaccination “rules.” Rather, they offer current scientific advice and best practice vaccine concepts.

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This past August, members of the VGG visited Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, Mexico, where they met with veterinary association leaders, academics, first-opinion practitioners, and government regulators; visited several veterinary practices; and delivered continuing education sessions.

“The VGG was delighted with the success of this visit to Mexico, a country with an estimated 45,000 veterinarians with students graduating from approximately 45 public and private veterinary schools,” said VGG chairman Michael Day, BSc, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DECVP, FASM, FRCPath, FRCVS.

In advance of the visit, the VGG circulated an online questionnaire to collect data on veterinary demographics, infectious disease occurrence, and vaccination protocols in Mexico. A total of 552 veterinarians completed the survey, the results of which were presented during CE events in the 3 cities. 

“Mexican veterinarians are accustomed to the principle of annual revaccination of dogs and cats with multicomponent products, but those we spoke to were excited by the new concepts of less frequent and individualized vaccination, incorporated into a preventive health care package for pets,” emeritus professor Day said. “Vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, such as canine distemper and parvovirus infections, remain highly prevalent in Mexico. Increasing herd immunity by improving vaccination coverage is clearly an important goal for the Mexican veterinary community.”

As part of its Latin America project, the VGG visited in Argentina in 2016 and Brazil in 2017. In 2019, the group plans to prepare a final white paper on its findings.

The VGG has also created vaccination guidelines for pet owners and breeders, updated most recently in 2015. The group is sponsored solely by MSD Animal Health.

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