Consider Fall Booster Vaccinations to Help Ensure Protection for Your Horse

A "one-and-done" spring approach may not be enough to help protect horse health.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Horses can be frequently exposed to equine influenza at horse shows. Photo: Zoetis.

The best way to help protect your horse against the risk of equine disease is to vaccinate him before exposure. While once-a-year spring vaccinations help offer protection and can activate an immune response, the American Association of Equine Practitioners vaccination guidelines recommend that at-risk horses be vaccinated for equine influenza virus (EIV) and equine herpesvirus (EHV), also called rhinopneumonitis, every six months.1

“At-risk horses include those less than 6 years of age, senior horses and horses that may be frequently exposed to equine influenza at shows, trail rides or other events,” says Dr. Kevin Hankins, senior veterinarian, Zoetis Equine Technical Services. “If your horse travels on and off the farm or boards with other horses that do, a second vaccination may be necessary to help boost immunity for risk-based diseases, including equine influenza and equine rhinopneumonitis.”


Equine influenza is one of the most common respiratory diseases in horses, spreading by aerosol transmission (coughing or sneezing) from horse to horse in distances as far as 50 yards.2The telltale signs of illness are similar to those of humans with a cold: dry cough, nasal discharge, fever, depression and loss of appetite.3 Besides causing clinical signs of disease in your horse, the virus can lead to losses in training days and additional veterinary costs. That’s why having an effective, trusted vaccine is so important.

Learn more about common horse health issues including West Nile virus and colic with AQHA's Common Horse Health Issues ebook. It never hurts to be prepared!

FLUVAC INNOVATOR® vaccines are the most trusted equine influenza vaccines and help provide your horse with broad protection against newly emerging and conventional equine influenza virus strains, as well as equine herpesvirus (EHV‑1 and EHV‑4).4-10 Zoetis regularly tests FLUVAC INNOVATOR to ensure its vaccine continues to be effective against emerging EIV isolates. Alternative vaccines can’t claim such broad research support.

“For horses that live in, travel to or come into contact with horses in warmer climates, revaccination during periods of high exposure or an outbreak of mosquito-borne viruses, including West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus and western equine encephalomyelitis virus is recommended,” says Dr. Hankins. “Research has shown that separate administration of WEST NILE-INNOVATOR® and FLUVAC INNOVATOR generated four times the immune response to West Nile virus than was produced by a big one-shot combination vaccine.11 Consider boostering your horse’s vaccinations this fall.”

FLUVAC INNOVATOR and WEST NILE-INNOVATOR are the veterinarian and horse owner’s first choice for equine disease protection.10 When you choose the most trusted vaccines to help protect your horses, you can rest easy because all FLUVAC INNOVATOR and WEST NILE-INNOVATOR vaccines are backed by the most comprehensive Equine Immunization Support Guarantee in the industry. When your horse is vaccinated by a veterinarian, this guarantee ensures that you have backing to help determine the cause of illness. Zoetis provides diagnostics for vaccinated horses exhibiting clinical signs of disease at no cost to the horse owner or veterinarian. Additionally, if the horse is diagnosed with a disease he was vaccinated against, Zoetis covers up to $5,000 of treatment costs.

Is your horse suffering from a health issue? The Common Horse Health Issues ebook can provide you with valuable information about laminitis, founder and insulin resistance. Knowing the signs and options available can make a large difference in your horse's health.

For more information on the most trusted equine vaccines, contact your veterinarian or visit

1 The American Association of Equine Practitioners. Risk-Based Vaccination Guidelines. Equine Influenza. Accessed July 13, 2016.

2 The American Association of Equine Practitioners. Suspected Case of Contagious Infectious Respiratory Disease. Published 2006. Accessed July 13, 2016.

3 West CM. The Horse. Equine Influenza Vaccine Protocols: Boosters are Best. Published February 17, 2010. Accessed July 13, 2016.

4 Data on file, Study Report No. 15EQRGBIO-02, Zoetis LLC.

5 Data on file, Study Report No. 671-02-001.R, Zoetis LLC.

6 Data on file, Study Report No. 671-08-004.R, Zoetis LLC.

7 Data on file, Study Report No. 766-09-002.R, Zoetis LLC.

8 Data on file, Study Report No. 10OREQBIO-01, Zoetis LLC.

9 Data on file, Study Report No. 14OREQBIO-1, Zoetis LLC.

10 Data on file, MDI sales data for WEST NILE-INNOVATOR and FLUVAC INNOVATOR as of 12/31/15, Zoetis LLC.

11 Cortese V, Hankins K, Holland R, Syvrud K. Serologic Responses of West Nile Virus Seronegative Mature Horses to West Nile Virus Vaccines. J Equine Vet Sci. 2013;33(12):1101-1105.

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