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Use of vaccines and factors associated with their uptake variability in dogs, cats and rabbits attending a large sentinel network of veterinary practices across Great Britain

  • F. Sánchez-Vizcaíno (a1) (a2), A. Muniesa (a3), D. A. Singleton (a2), P. H. Jones (a2), P. J. Noble (a4), R. M. Gaskell (a4), S. Dawson (a4) and A. D. Radford (a2)...

Abstract

Vaccination remains a mainstay of companion animal population health. However, how vaccine use at a population level complies with existing guidelines is unknown. Here we use electronic health records to describe vaccination in dogs, cats and rabbits attending a large sentinel network of UK veterinary practices. In total, 77.9% (95% CI: 77.6–78.1) of animals had recorded vaccinations. The percentage of animals with recorded vaccinations was higher in dogs, neutered animals, in insured dogs and cats and in purebred dogs. Vaccination rates varied in different regions of Great Britain in all species. Dogs and cats belonging to owners living in less deprived areas of England and Scotland were more likely to be recorded as vaccinated. In the vaccinated population, cats received more core vaccines per year of life (0.86) than dogs (0.75), with feline leukaemia vaccines almost as frequent as core vaccines. In dogs, leptospira vaccines were more frequent than core vaccines. This descriptive study suggests a substantial proportion of animals are not benefiting from vaccine protection. For the first time, we identify potential factors associated with variations in recorded vaccination frequency, providing a critical baseline against which to monitor future changes in companion animal vaccination and evidence to inform future targeted health interventions.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: A. D. Radford, E-mail: alanrad@liverpool.ac.uk

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