Anti-vaccination pet owners skip life-saving rabies shots: study


August 30, 2023 | 4:04 p.m

This news can leave you foaming at the mouth.

New research shows that the majority of dog owners are now considering letting their dogs forgo vaccinations — even if it means the dogs contracting rabies or other deadly diseases.

according to A recent study in the Journal of Vaccines53% of dog owners believe that pet vaccines are unsafe, ineffective, and/or unnecessary.

Dogs are responsible for 99% of rabies cases in the world.

The disease is often fatal to humans and animals once symptoms appear.

“Honestly, we were very surprised,” says Dr. Matt Mota, one of the study’s authors and a policy scientist at the Boston University School of Public Health. he told Bloomberg.

“Hesitation about the canine vaccine is widespread,” Motta said.

Rabies – which is estimated to kill 59,000 people annually – is just one vaccine-preventable infectious disease.

A new study reveals that hesitancy in vaccinations now affects not only people, but also their pets.
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Rabies vaccines are required by many state governments, but some pet owners are reluctant to get the life-saving shot.
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For example, Lyme disease and leptospirosis in unvaccinated pets can affect people as well as animals. In 2017, New York City experienced an outbreak of leptospirosis, which affected many people in the Bronx, According to the Brooklyn Paper.

Vaccine hesitancy, the study authors wrote, “is problematic not only because it may inspire vaccine refusal – which in turn may facilitate the spread of infectious disease in both dogs and humans – but because it may contribute to mental/physical health risks for veterinary caregivers.”

In the most recent survey, nearly 40% of pet owners were concerned that vaccines could cause autism in dogs, an idea that has been exhaustively and repeatedly debunked.

“I had a client who was worried about an autistic child and didn’t want the dog vaccinated for the same reason,” Dr. Stephanie Leaf of Pure Paws Veterinary Care in Brooklyn told the Brooklyn Paper.

“We’ve never diagnosed autism in a dog,” Leff added. “I don’t think you can.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a dramatic shift in public perceptions of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
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Most state governments require rabies vaccination for both cats and dogs. Veterinarians say other vaccines, such as the parvovirus vaccine, are not required but are essential to the health of dogs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the reluctance to take up vaccines. Less than 80% of Americans now believe that childhood vaccines are important, compared to 93% before the pandemic, according to a report from UNICEF.

“Vaccination coverage fell sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving millions of children without protection against some of the most serious childhood diseases,” the UNICEF report said, calling it a “red alert”.

“What this shows is that the coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way Americans view vaccines,” Motta said.

He added, “We live in a world where countries are considering rolling back vaccine requirements.” “What does it mean that pets aren’t the next frontier?”

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