Question for Natural Horse:

In the article by Tanya Nolte about vaccinations and/or homeopathy (Volume 3, Issue 4) Nolte says that vaccines are "directly administered into the bloodstream." Could this be true? I always thought that they were administered intramuscularly, or even subcutaneously.
Also, Nolte recommends not using polyvalent vaccines ("multiple live vaccines in one dose") and I can certainly see the wisdom in that. She suggests that if you are going use vaccines to give them individually, weeks apart, and only to a well horse. I've looked for individual dose vaccines and have never been able to find them. Everything I've ever run across in catalogs, from the vet, and at the feed store are vaccines that are in combinations. So my question is where to obtain them?

Raphaela Pope

Tanya Nolte's response:

Dear Raphaela,
Your question about a vaccine being "directly administered into the bloodstream" is a valid one. It is true that a vaccine is to be administered intramuscularly, or sometimes subcutaneously, and not directly into a vein or artery that can lead to serious or potentially fatal consequences. What I meant by "directly into the bloodstream" is, because muscular tissue is richly vascular, the administered substance (the vaccine) injected into muscle tissue will begin to be immediately absorbed from the muscle cells into the microcirculation of the capillary beds of the bloodstream, NOT directly into the blood vessels themselves.
The chief point I intended to make was that the natural way in which a horse would encounter influenza or other airborne or ingested pathogens would be nasally or orally, rather than by the unnatural route via the bloodstream (as in vaccination administration and subsequent absorption). A horse would naturally mount its own immune response by excreting antibodies into the nasal/oral passages where the foreign agent is initially encountered, at the natural point of entry. Vaccination bypasses the natural route of entry, confusing the body's ability to launch its own initial response at the first line of defence. If the virus is inhaled and not neutralised by secretory antibodies, it then goes on to colonise in the mucous membranes of the trachea and upper respiratory tissues.
Regarding your question on individual dose vaccines, obtaining singular vaccines rather than polyvalents can be difficult, but they are available. (; Difficulty in obtaining singles occurs because of our desire for convenience and economy, and because pharmaceutical companies manufacture vaccines to suit veterinarian and owner demands:

  • It is more convenient and less costly to have all the vaccinating done in one visit with a minimum number of injections, thus the demand for polyvalents.
  • It is more economical and sometimes a requirement to buy product in quantity. For infrequently-requested single vaccines, clearing stock before expiration dates of the product may not be possible, resulting in monetary loss, and a reluctance of veterinarians to purchase them.

As awareness increases about less harmful and less frequent modes of vaccination, so too will the supply of singular vaccines become more readily found in veterinarian's dispensaries. Titer checks would become less expensive if the volume for their need grew. Better still, once homeopathic alternatives are given fair recognition there will be even less need for heavy vaccination routines. It is up to all of us, the horse owners, to make the current trends swing towards individual vaccines rather than polyvalents, titer checks to reduce vaccine frequency, and, most importantly, a holistic approach to horsekeeping to better prevent and manage infectious diseases.

Yours sincerely, Tanya Nolte