This paper summarises the progress towards vaccine development against the major blood-feeding nematodes of man and livestock, the hookworms and Haemonchus contortus, respectively. The impact of the diseases and the drivers for vaccine development are summarized as well as the anticipated impact of the host immune response on vaccine design. The performance requirements are discussed and progress towards these objectives using defined larval and adult antigens, many of these being shared between species. Specific examples include the Ancylostoma secreted proteins and homologues in Haemonchus as well as proteases used for digestion of the blood meal. This discussion shows that many of the major vaccine candidates are shared between these blood-feeding species, not only those from the blood-feeding stages but also those expressed by infective L3s in the early stages of infection. Challenges for the future include: exploiting the expanding genome information for antigen discovery, use of different recombinant protein expression systems, formulation with new adjuvants, and novel methods of field testing vaccine efficacy.