A vaccine is a medically-prepared product intended for active protection against disease. Vaccination is widely considered the most cost-effective method of preventing infectious diseases; however, vaccines do have limitations. Good management practices also play an important role in limiting the spread of infectious diseases.

It is important to appreciate that vaccines do not provide immediate protection against a disease; the vaccines need to be administered prior to pathogen exposure.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has created a set of guidelines that assists veterinarians in selecting the most appropriate vaccine schedule. However, it is ultimately the veterinarian’s responsibility to recommend the use of one or more vaccines.