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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Feline Injection-Site Sarcoma and Other Adverse Reactions to Vaccination in Cats

Hartmann, Katrin; Egberink, Herman; Moestl, Karin; Addie, Diane D.; Belak, Sandor; Boucraut-Baralon, Corine; Frymus, Tadeusz; Lloret, Albert; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Marsilio, Fulvio; Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Tasker, Severine; Thiry, Etienne; Truyen, Uwe; Hosie, Margaret J.


Vaccine-associated adverse events (VAAEs), including feline injection-site sarcomas (FISSs), occur only rarely but can be severe. Understanding potential VAAEs is an important part of informed owner consent for vaccination. In this review, the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), a scientifically independent board of feline medicine experts, presents the current knowledge on VAAEs in cats, summarizing the literature and filling the gaps where scientific studies are missing with expert opinion to assist veterinarians in adopting the best vaccination practice. VAAEs are caused by an aberrant innate or adaptive immune reaction, excessive local reactions at the inoculation site, an error in administration, or failure in the manufacturing process. FISS, the most severe VAAE, can develop after vaccinations or injection of other substances. Although the most widely accepted hypothesis is that chronic inflammation triggers malignant transformation, the pathogenesis of FISS is not yet fully understood. No injectable vaccine is risk-free, and therefore, vaccination should be performed as often as necessary, but as infrequently as possible. Vaccines should be brought to room temperature prior to administration and injected at sites in which FISS surgery would likely be curative; the interscapular region should be avoided. Post-vaccinal monitoring is essential.


VAAE; FISS; side effect; adverse event; vaccine; immunization; hypersensitivity reaction; anaphylaxis

Published in

2023, Volume: 15, number: 8, article number: 1708
Publisher: MDPI

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

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