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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* Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart
  • Vaccinated:
    annual (spring)
Foals Foals

Three-dose series: 1st dose at 4 - 6 months of age, 2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after the 1st dose and 3rd dose at 10 - 12 months of age

Broodmares* Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series, 4 weeks apart; booster annually or 4-6 weeks pre-partum or before next vector season
  • Vaccinated:
    vaccinate 4–6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of EEE/WEE
Adult Horses* Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two-dose series.
  • Vaccinated:
    annual (spring)
Foals Foals

Three-dose series: 1st dose at 4 - 6 months of age, 2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after the 1st dose and 3rd dose at 10 - 12 months of age

Broodmares* 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* Adult Horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    single dose
  • Vaccinated:
    annual
Foals Foals
  • Unvaccinated mare:
    single dose at 4–6 months of age
  • Vaccinated mare:
    two-dose series, 4–6 weeks apart, starting at 4-6 months of age
Broodmares* Broodmares*
  • Annual; booster 4–6 weeks pre-partum
  • OR
  • Prior to breeding
Signs and symptoms of rabies
Adult Horses* 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 Foals

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

Broodmares* 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* Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    initial series varies with vaccine type
  • Vaccinated:
    annual or semi-annual depending on risk
Foals Foals

Two- or three-dose series with intervals varying with vaccine type

Broodmares* Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    Inactivated vaccine: Dependent upon on manufacturer’s product recommendation, the vaccine may be a two or three dose series with a 3 to 4-week interval between doses (IM), with the last dose administered 4-6 weeks pre-partum
  • Vaccinated:
    Inactivated vaccine: Annually with one dose administered 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of EIV
Adult horses* Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    Dependent upon on manufacturer’s product recommendation, the vaccine may be a two or three dose series with a 3 to 4-week interval between doses.
  • Vaccinated:
    annual; six-month booster for horses at higher risk
Foals Foals

Three-dose series: 1st dose at 4 - 6 months of age, 2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after the 1st dose and 3rd dose at 10 - 12 months of age

Broodmares* Broodmares*

Three-dose series with product against EHV abortion at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation.
Recommended to also booster broodmares with a product labeled for protection against respiratory disease 4-6 weeks prepartum

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

Two-dose series: 1st dose at 5 months of age, 2nd dose 3 - 4 weeks after 1st dose

Broodmares* Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    Two-dose series: 1st dose 7-9 weeks pre-partum, 2nd dose 4-6 weeks pre-partum
  • Vaccinated:
    Semi-annual, with one dose given 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum
Signs and symptoms of PHF
Adult horses* Adult horses*
  • Unvaccinated:
    two- or three-dose series, depending on vaccine type
  • Vaccinated:
    semi-annual or annual depending on risk
Foals Foals

Dose series depends on initial vaccine type

Broodmares* Broodmares*
  • Unvaccinated:
    Killed vaccine: 3-dose series 2nd dose 2 - 4 weeks after 1st dose, 3rd dose 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum
  • Vaccinated:
    Semi-annual with one dose given 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum
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.