Current vaccine perceptions
Vaccines have made the world safer for millions of people and their pets, and public confidence in vaccines remained high for decades. Today vaccines are under public scrutiny, and consumer perceptions and expectations may be changing. As an example, media hype has spread anxiety and fear with the belief that certain child vaccines, primarily the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella), cause autism. The study that originally linked vaccines to autism has been discredited and declared a fraud by the British Medical Journal, January 2011, the same journal publishing the original study.
The vaccine controversy has also penetrated the pet world, with some pet owners questioning the safety of some vaccinations. Vaccine rates appear to be declining.
Optimal vaccination can help keep pets infectious disease-free for life
Clearly, the history and success of vaccines over the last few decades proves that people and pets can be protected for life from serious, vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. Along with clean water, vaccination is a critical component of preventive health, based on the idea that prevention is always safer, less expensive and includes less suffering than treatment.
The annual wellness exam is an excellent time to discuss vaccination with your veterinarian, including the premise that pets should receive only the vaccines they need to be protected. Assessing the overall health and lifestyle of your pet during a wellness exam is crucial in uncovering any problems before they become serious illnesses. Your vet will make vaccination recommendations based on the results of the exam.
The benefits of vaccinating far outweigh the risks in the vast majority of pets. Talk to your vet about your vaccination concerns.