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BASIC BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
There are over 25 types of canine and feline vaccines for veterinarians to choose from
Polyvalent Vaccines: These are vaccines that provide protection for more than one disease agent. So, for example a vaccine that is called a DHPP will provide protection for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza (see the table below)
Monovalent Vaccines: These are vaccines that provide protection for only one disease agent. For example a panleukopenia vaccine will protect for panleukopenia (feline distemper) only.
Polyvalent or Monovalent - which is better? It is generally accepted that is it better to give monovalent vaccines where possible.
Modified Live Viral (MLV) vaccines - these are vaccines with partly live viral components representing the different disease agents that the vaccine is meant to provide protection for. Generally speaking, MLV vaccines stimulate a stronger immune response. Pets vaccinated with partly live viral vaccines may experience mild symptoms reflective of the diseases the vaccine is providing immunity against. There are, however, certain circumstances where an MLV vaccine should not be used, for example in pets with already compromised immune systems.
Killed vaccines - these vaccines contain only killed components representing the disease agent that the vaccine is meant to provide protection for. Often, killed vaccines contain something called an adjuvant this is a substance meant to enhance an immune response - as the response from the killed component alone is weak compared with a MLV vaccine.
WHEN TO VACCINATE?:
Link to more information on vaccines and vaccination