Core Vaccines All Horses Need

We are fortunate in the horse world to have a plethora of effective vaccines to protect our horses against infectious diseases.
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Every horse should receive what are termed the “core vaccines.”

We are fortunate in the horse world to have a plethora of effective vaccines to protect our horses against infectious diseases. Many infectious diseases are associated with high mortality rates, but vaccination protection can thwart the disease. 

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Every horse should receive what are termed the “core vaccines,” as recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). These are annual vaccines that protect against:

  • Eastern and Western equine encephalitis (EEE and WEE)
  • West Nile virus (WNV)
  • Tetanus
  • Rabies

Every horse across the United States should receive each of these vaccines at a minimum. All vaccines—core or risk-based—begin with a primary series of 2-3 injections spaced 3-5 weeks apart. 

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The vaccines then are boosted once or twice annually, depending on the timing and degree of exposure. EEE, WEE and WNV are transmitted by mosquitos, so horses might need twice-annual boosters in certain geographic locations. 

Rabies and tetanus only need to be given once annually in most circumstances.

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