Dogs with lowered immune systems–like in Addison’s disease–shouldn’t get their dogs vaccinated. At least, that’s what the current research seems to suggest.
One of the biggest canine drug manufacturers, Pfizer, reported in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine in January 2004 that research has shown dogs can be protected from major diseases for over four years from a single booster shot.
Current American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines recommend that dogs are vaccinated against the four major pathogens: distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus-2, and rabies. Apart from rabies–where yearly booster shots are often required by law–the AAHA recommends that most dogs get booster shots once every three years.
So if the AAHA and even the drug manufacturers are recommending a booster shot every three years, why are veterinarians recommending that owners bring their dogs in every year? Part of it is that some veterinarians just aren’t up to speed with current guidelines. Other veterinarians may want to get pet owners to come in for an annual check up, and booster shots are a convenient way to encourage this. Other reasons are so called “public health issues.” That is, by the time the government figures out that dogs don’t need rabies shots every year and changes the legislation to once every three years, it’ll be 2020 and Pfizer will have come out with the lifetime vaccination shot.
For more information on shots for Addison’s dogs, see this article: Do vaccinations cause Addison’s disease?