In our studies aimed at assessing the minimum duration of vaccinal immunity (DOI), approximately 1000 dogs have been vaccinated with products from all the major US veterinary biological companies. The DOI for the various products is determined by antibody titers for all dogs and, by challenge studies in selected groups of dogs. Recently, all major companies that make canine vaccines for the U.S. market have completed their own studies; published data show a 3 years or longer minimum DOI for the canine core products, canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), and canine adenovirus-2 (CAV-2). Studies with feline core vaccines - feline parvovirus (FPV), calicivirus (FCV) and herpes virus type I (FHV-1) have shown a minimum DOI of greater than 3 years. Based on these results, the current canine and feline guidelines (which recommend that the last dose of core vaccines be given to puppies and kittens > or =12 weeks of age or older, then revaccination again at 1 year, then not more often than every 3 years) should provide a level of protection equal to that achieved by annual revaccination. In contrast, the non-core canine and feline vaccines, perhaps with the exception of feline leukaemia vaccines, provide immunity for < or =1 year. In general the effectiveness of the non-core products is less than the core products. Thus, when required, non-core vaccines should be administered yearly, or even more frequently.