In communities where a substantial proportion of the total dog population is accessible for vaccination (i.e. many communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia) parenteral immunization should be adopted. Click here to learn about restraining and inoculation techniques for parenteral immunization. If dogs are less accessible (e.g. in communities with many free-roaming and poorly supervised dogs), oral vaccination can be used exclusively or in conjunction with parenteral vaccination ( CASE STUDY PHILIPPINES) ( CASE STUDY TURKEY ) ( CASE STUDY KWA-ZULU NATAL ). Be aware of the fact that depending on the region dogs may prefer locally made baits instead of those provided by the supplier.
Different strategies can be used for domestic dog vaccination. A single strategy or a combination of strategies should be selected on the basis of the setting or known socio-cultural factors. Vaccination strategies available for parenteral and oral immunization are as follows:
- Continual vaccination at fixed vaccination posts in well-recognized sites to which dog owners take their dogs/cats (including private or government veterinary clinics). Although this technique requires little government effort, it may fail to reach many owned and all unowned dogs resulting in poor population coverage or coverage that is difficult to measure.
- Mobile teams that set up temporary vaccination points at a central location within individual villages or cities conveniently located for dog owners (central-point vaccination strategy). This strategy is relatively inexpensive and can achieve the recommended level of coverage if vaccination is provided free-of-charge ( CASE STUDY TANZANIA ). It may be indicated to make a judgement on the size of catchment areas of temporary clinics and decide on their spacing accordingly.
- House-to-house campaigns. This strategy may be required in remote areas. It usually results in a sufficient percentage of dogs being vaccinated and it causes only minimal disruption of the normal community functions, but it is costly and logistically difficult ( CASE STUDY TANZANIA ). If vaccines need to be administered orally, baiting of owned dogs can be carried out using this strategy.
- Inaccessible or unrestrainable dogs can be immunized orally by presenting baits directly to dogs on the street (hand-out model).
Independently of the strategy adopted, synchronized campaigns (i.e. one-day or one-week campaigns covering whole municipalities or states) may be very effective in mobilizing many sectors and the public, in view of the short duration of their involvement and higher media and public profile.
- Photo courtesy of the Serengeti Carnivore Disease Project