Veterinary Vaccines and Their Importance to Animal Health and Public Health
Veterinary vaccines have had, and continue to have, a major role in protecting animal health and public health, reducing animal suffering, enabling efficient production of food animals to feed the burgeoning human population, and greatly reducing the need for antibiotics to treat food and companion animals. Prominent examples include rabies vaccines and rinderpest vaccines. Rabies vaccines for domestic animals and wildlife have nearly eliminated human rabies in developed countries. Thanks to the Global Rinderpest Eradication Program which involves vaccination, trade restrictions, and surveillance, rinderpest may soon become only the second disease (after smallpox) to be globally eradicated. Successful examples of new technology animal vaccines that are licensed for use, include gene-deleted marker vaccines, virus-like-particle vaccines, recombinant modified live virus vaccines, chimeric vaccines, and DNA vaccines. Animal vaccines also use a wide variety of novel adjuvants that are not yet approved for use in human vaccines. Animal vaccines can be developed and licensed much more quickly than human vaccines. The West Nile virus was discovered in the United States in August 1999. By August 2001, an Equine vaccine for West Nile virus was conditionally licensed. For animal vaccines to effectively protect animal and public health they must be widely used, which means they must be affordable. The regulatory process must meet the need for assuring safety and efficacy without increasing the cost of licensing and production to the point where they are not affordable to the end user.
This article is published as Roth, James A. "Veterinary vaccines and their importance to animal health and public health." Procedia in Vaccinology 5 (2011): 127-136. doi: 10.1016/j.provac.2011.10.009. Posted with permission.