Which Vaccines Are Needed?

Vaccines against disease transmitted by vectors should be administered in spring before the seasonal increase in transmission.

These diseases include West Nile Virus, and Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE). These are considered “core vaccines” and are recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

“In addition, several diseases warrant risk-based vaccines,” says Jessica Morgan, Ph.D., DVM, DACVSMR, of the University of California-Davis. “Some diseases, like influenza, are not vector-borne but vaccines are recommended every six months for at-risk horses. Other diseases like Potomac Horse Fever and Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis (VEE) are seasonal and springtime vaccination is recommended in certain regions.”

Want to learn more? Advances in Vaccines

Recommended vaccines vary greatly based on temperatures and frequency of the disease in individual areas.
Photo by Rita Kochmarjova/stock.adobe.com

Things to Remember

Though many are available to horse owners, having a veterinarian administer vaccines offers several advantages. 

  • Veterinarians are a reliable vaccine source direct from manufacturers, and some vaccines are distributed only to veterinarians. 
  • Many companies also offer additional support for vaccine failure or adverse reactions when a veterinarian administers the vaccine.
  • Vaccine appointments offer a chance to determine if the vaccine should be delayed based on your horse’s health and are a great time for an overall wellness visit. 
  • Vaccines are carefully formulated to induce an immune response and should not be combined after market. Many offer combination vaccines that are well tolerated and effective. However, horses that are immunocompromised or have a history of adverse reactions may benefit from spreading out vaccines. 

Prestige 3 + WNV Equine Vaccine
A four-way vaccine that includes West Nile, two-way sleeping sickness, and tetanus for healthy horses 6 months of age or older against Equine Encephalomyelitis Viruses (Eastern and Western), West Nile Virus Flavivirus Chimera, and Tetanus Toxoid.

West Nile Innovator + EWT Equine Vaccine 
This vaccine is for healthy horses as an aid in preventing disease caused by Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis viruses and tetanus, and as an aid in the prevention of viremia caused by West Nile Virus.

Vetera EWT + WNV Equine Vaccine 
A vaccine made for healthy horses 4 months of age or older as an aid in preventing disease caused by Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, tetanus, and viremia caused by West Nile Virus. 

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