Basic Veterinary Immunology and Principles of Vaccination

Course Content

This online course provides an overview of how the immune system works, how vaccines can prevent disease, and why vaccines sometimes fail to protect from disease and occasionally cause adverse reactions.

The course includes 4.5 hours of online video lectures. Participants have the freedom to go through the course on a schedule that best meets their needs. All participants receive printed study materials.

General topics covered in the course:
  • The body's innate defense mechanisms that are always active
  • How the immune system protects from infectious diseases and how vaccines can stimulate the immune system to induce protection
  • Immune dysfunction including allergies
  • Why vaccines sometimes fail to protect and occasionally cause adverse reactions

A detailed list of all lectures is available.

Target Audience

For individuals who do not have a veterinary, medical, or biology background and that work in the animal health industry. For example, individuals in administration, marketing, sales, legal, human resources, finance etc., who want to have a better understanding of the science and terminology involved in vaccine development, evaluation, and use.

For individuals who have had some immunology training but would like a short refresher course. For example, veterinary technicians, veterinarians and other professionals.

Continuing Education

The course is approved for 5 hours of Continuing Education (CE) credit as approved by RACE (Registry of Approved Continuing Education of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards) for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Successful completion of examinations is required to be eligible for RACE approved CE credits.

The Instructors

Course instructors include Drs. Jim Roth, Gayle Brown and Kevan Flaming. Drs. Roth and Brown co-teach veterinary immunology and vaccinology at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Roth delivers the lectures; Dr. Brown developed the presentations, lecture outlines, and exams; and Dr. Flaming handles issues related to course delivery through the Internet.

Sample Study Materials (Lecture Outlines and PowerPoint slides)

Lesson Title Outline Slides
1. Basic Immunology: Overview (10 min) Course Outline Sample PDF

Note: The Video, Outline, and Slides of the example do not match like they do in the course, but are examples of the content.

How to Enroll

Click here to register and pay online.
If you have questions about the course, pricing, etc. email us at

Course Cost

The course cost is $225 for 90-day access. We accept payment via check, credit card, or can bill through institutional systems.

Related Courses

Individuals who want more detailed information on these topics are encouraged to take the 17-hour online course "Veterinary Immunology and Principles of Vaccination".
more info »

Individuals interested in another short course with emphasis on how veterinary vaccines work are encouraged to take "Introduction to Principles of Veterinary Vaccination". This course includes 3 hours of online video lectures.
more info »

This program 671-28756 was reviewed and approved by the AAVSB RACE program for 5 hours of continuing education in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval. Please contact the AAVSB RACE program if you have any comments/concerns regarding this program's validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession.