Vaccination is such an ugly word….. What’s even uglier is the phrase “back-order.” As in, “I’m sorry, but the Merial Feline PureVax Rabies vaccine is on back-order for 6-8 weeks.” Dr. Sloan asked me to make my feline peeps (my feeps?) aware of the current situation: there is a shortage of the rabies vaccine we use here at Cat Care, PC in Rochester Hills, MI. The rabies vaccine we use (PureVax) is one-of-a-kind; it is a non-adjuvanted recombinant DNA vaccine, which significantly reduces Fluffy’s risk of developing vaccine-associated tumours later in life. There are other rabies vaccines out there, but they are all killed virus, adjuvanted vaccines. This means that the vaccines include extra “stuff” (aka adjuvant) to elicit a stronger immune response from the body. Unfortunately, adjuvant is implicated in the formation of those nasty vaccine-associated tumours (see my previous blog, Vaccines 101, for more in-depth information about different kinds of vaccines). So, even though we may run out of the PureVax rabies vaccine prior to resolution of the back-order, and therefore have to postpone some kitties’ rabies vaccines, we are more comfortable with this option than with administering adjuvanted vaccines that we do not consider to be as safe as the PureVax vaccine. What does that mean for Fluffy? When you come in, we will discuss the specifics of your situation and decide together whether to vaccinate now with our remaining stock of the PureVax rabies vaccine, or whether to postpone vaccination until this vaccine is off back-order (we’re hoping June 2014). We’ll continue to do everything possible to keep our patients healthy even in the face of this unexpected situation. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to call us!