Editor's Note May 2012: We are
now NINE YEARS later and despite ongoing demand for veterinary
vaccine disclosure prior to administering any vaccination, we are no
closer. Prominent Vets such as Patricia Jordan, DVM, CVA,
CTCVH and Dr. Bob Rogers who filed a
class action vaccine law suit, have been unable to upset the
balance of power of the vaccine manufacturers. Why do
veterinarians refuse to protect themselves by getting a
signed disclosure form? PROFIT gained from giving shots?
Or is it the millions spent each year in lobbying (i.e. payoffs) to
legislators by the vaccine makers?
VACCINE DISCLOSURE FORMS
Pet Owners in 2003 meeting
Hearing on Pet
Vaccine Disclosure Forms Draws a Big Crowd
By Kay Liss
A hearing on a proposal to require veterinarians to provide
disclosure forms on vaccines was standing-room-only in
Augusta (Maine). Comments were fairly equally divided, with
citizens in support on one hand and veterinarians opposed on
The proposed act is the latest effort spearheaded by
Kris Christine of Alna to correct what she views as
flaws in state laws regarding the administering of vaccines
to pets, dogs in particular. She recently was successful in
bringing enough attention to discrepancies in canine rabies
vaccination rules, which resulted in over-vaccination of
dogs in Maine for 17 years, that the law was changed,
extending the administering of inoculations from two to
three years. Language exempting sick dogs from the
requirement is soon to be added, due to the persistence of
the Alna mother and dog owner.
This new proposal, initially championed by former Senator
Chris Hall of Bristol, and presently by Rep. Peter Rines
(D-Wiscasset), is an important next step, Christine
believes, providing pet owners with scientifically-based
information on which to make decisions on other
routinely-given canine vaccines(parvo, distempter hepatitis)
booster shot, recommended annually by vets. In her research
into the rabies vaccines issue, she came upon information
that suggested this booster vaccine was protective for much
longer than a year.
First to speak to the Agriculture, Conservation and Forest
Committee at the hearing, Christine began:
"Many Maine veterinarians have failed to inform clients
that most core veterinary vaccines protect for seven or more
years, and pet owners, unaware that their animals don't need
booster vaccinations more often, have unwittingly given
their companions useless booster shots – taking an
unnecessary toll on their finances and animals' health."
Her testimony was bolstered by information from various
authoritative sources, including Dr. Ronald Schultz, a
leading researcher and authority on veterinary vaccine. His
studies formed the scientific basis of the American Animal
Hospital Association's (AAHA) 2003 Canine Vaccine
Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature,
which stated: "We now know that booster injections are of
no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper
infection and vaccination lasts for a minimum of 7 years
based on challenge studies and up to 15 years (a lifetime)
based on antibody titer."
In the American Veterinarian Medical Association's
Principles of Vaccination literature, Christine further
quoted, "Unnecessary stimulation of the immune system
does not result in enhanced disease resistance, and may
increase the risk of adverse post-vaccination events"
including "autoimmune disorders, transient infections,
and/or long-term infected carrier states. In addition, a
causal association in cats between injection sites and the
subsequent development of a malignant tumor is the subject
of ongoing research."
Speaking in support of the bill, a social worker from
Warren, Jennifer Pearson, said she was "baffled" by the
resistance of the veterinarians to the disclosure forms.
Just as peoples' rights are recognized to know the risks and
benefits of drugs they take, so should the rights of pet
owners be recognized in the vaccines recommended for their
a dog breeder from Lewiston and an AKC judge, testified that
the disclosure forms would provide a "safeguard" to dogs and
He added that he
didn't see why supplying such a disclosure form should be a
burden to vets, since pharmacists supply consumers a
print-out of the pros and cons of drug they purchase without
any trouble. Another breeder, Kay Sukforth of Sukee
Kennels in Warren, commented that she thought the vets
should welcome such a form, because it would protect them
from possible lawsuits.
Dr. Bill Bryant, past president of the Maine Veterinarians
Medical Association (MVMA), testified that vaccine protocols
were in a "period of transition" and that the science is so
complex and in a state of flux that it would be too
difficult to provide a reliable and simple disclosure form.
He said he didn't want to turn "our profession" into managed
care. He also accused the Christines of carrying on a
negative campaign against the veterinarian community.
When asked by a number of legislators why he had previously
said he was in favor of the disclosure form legislation,
having stated in a Veterinary News magazine article "It's
time for something like this to come out … disclosure forms
will be an important resource to have available, [and] if it
goes before the Legislature, we'd likely support it,"
Bryant appeared hard pressed to explain. He did agree a
usable form might be devised but did not support it being
devised by a legislative committee but by veterinarian
Other veterinarians claimed they were already giving their
clients information about vaccines so didn't need to provide
disclosure forms. A number claimed to be just like "James
Herriot," the well-known veterinarian and author of "All
Creatures Great and Small" who has become a symbol of the
ideal, trustworthy vet.
A supporter of the forms, Laura Moon of Brunswick, appeared
with her Jack Russell Terrier, who had a large tumor on its
side. She urged legislators to pass a law so that people
would have more knowledge of vaccines, and that possible
side-effects of such vaccines might be avoided.
Legislators will convene a work session on the bill in about
The act would be the first of its kind in the nation.
Vol. 130 - No. 9
Source: Lincoln County News