How often should I vaccinate my horse?

It depends on which diseases you and your veterinarian have determined your horse may be at risk for through its environment and activities.

While vaccination protocols vary from horse to horse, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has developed a set of schedule guidelines for core and risk-based horse vaccines. Discuss with your veterinarian how these guidelines can be implemented as part of your annual horse treatment.

Remember:

young foals are more vulnerable to infection.

AAEP vaccination guidelines

Core vaccination schedule
Core vaccination diseases
Schedule
Adult Horses*
Foals
Broodmares*
Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart
  • Vaccinated:
    annual (spring)
Foals

Three-dose series, with intervals varying based on vaccination status of the mare and geographical location

Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
  • Vaccinated:
    annual (spring); booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of EEE/WEE
Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, interval varying with vaccine type
  • Vaccinated:
    annual (spring)
Foals

Three-dose series, with intervals varying based on vaccination status of the mare, vaccination type, and geographical location

Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    preferable to vaccinate when open; if at high risk, follow protocol for unvaccinated, adult horses
  • Vaccinated:
    annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of WNV
Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    single dose
  • Vaccinated:
    annual
Foals
  • Unvaccinated mare:
    single dose
  • Vaccinated mare:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart, starting at six months of age
Broodmares*
  • Annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
  • OR
  • Prior to breeding
Signs and symptoms of rabies
Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart
  • Vaccinated:
    annual
  • Additional booster in event of injury if > 6 months since previous vaccination
Foals

Three-dose series, with intervals varying based on vaccination status of the mare

Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
  • Vaccinated:
    annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of tetanus

Risk-based vaccination schedule
Risk-based vaccination diseases
Schedule
Adult horses*
Foals
Broodmares*
Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    initial series varies with vaccine type
  • Vaccinated:
    annual or semi-annual depending on risk
Foals

Two- or three- dose series, with intervals varying with vaccination status of the mare and vaccine type

Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    initial series varies with vaccine type
  • Vaccinated:
    semi-annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of EIV
Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    three-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart
  • Vaccinated:
    annual; six-month booster for horses at higher risk
Foals

Three-dose series, with intervals, varying with vaccination status of the mare

Broodmares*

Three-dose series with product against EHV abortion at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation

Signs and symptoms of HerpesViruses
Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 3–4 weeks apart
  • Vaccinated:
    annual or semi-annual depending on risk
Foals

Two-dose series, with interval varying with vaccination status of the mare

Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 7–9 weeks and 4–6 weeks pre-partum
  • Vaccinated:
    semi-annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of PHF
Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two- or three-dose series, depending on vaccine type
  • Vaccinated:
    semi-annual or annual depending on risk
Foals

N/A

Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    three-dose series, 2–4 weeks apart (killed vaccine)
  • Vaccinated:
    semi-annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum (killed vaccine)
Signs and symptoms of strangles

  • *AAEP Adult Vaccination Chart.
  • AAEP Foal Vaccination Chart.
  • Visit aaep.org for complete guidelines.
Talk to your veterinarian

about developing your customized vaccination plan.