[en] Vaccination guidelines are non-compulsory recommendations which assist the veterinary practitioner to use vaccines efficiently. They complement the official information contained in the shortened form of the summary of product characteristics that is included in the package insert of the product. The aim of this article is to clarify the role of guidelines and examine how they can improve the use of vaccines in practical conditions. The development of vaccination guidelines is explained. Several issues are discussed: primary vaccination schedule; interference with maternally derived antibodies; duration of immunity; vaccination and ageing. Three guidelines dealing with the vaccination of cats against upper respiratory tract disease are compared, as an example. In conclusion, vaccination guidelines are essential tools to assist veterinarians in good vaccination practices. They fill the gap that exists between the official recommendations included in the regulations and the licensing dossiers and the daily use of the vaccines.