More than half of dog owners In the United States, people have expressed concerns about vaccination, including against rabies, according to a new study published in the journal Saturday Vaccine. The study took place at the same time as the anti-vaccine movements among the people They skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reluctance to Dog Vaccines is Widespread, said Matt Mottaone, one of the authors of the paper and a political scientist at Boston University School of Public Health studying the topic. “We’re quite surprised.”
This is not the first indication of it The rebellious attitude towards vaccination has had an impact on our furry friends. A study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal in 2021 found an overlap between the movement against mandatory childhood vaccinations and vaccine-resistant pet owners. found another relationship between people who are skeptical about vaccinating their dogs and those who believe vaccinations cause autism in childrenand a false rumor that has long been discredited.
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Nowadays, Pets are considered family members; therefore, decisions about your health care have equally serious consequences. However, The consequences of not vaccinating animals can be just as serious as for humans. dogs for example are responsible for 99% of all rabies cases worldwide. rabies, which is often transmitted by bite. As soon as clinical symptoms appear, it is almost always fatal for animals and humans. A decline in rabies vaccination could pose a serious public health threat.
In the new study, The authors surveyed 2,200 people and found that 53% had concerns about the safety, effectiveness, or necessity of dog vaccines. until almost 40% fear vaccines could cause Dogs will develop autism, a theory with no scientific basis.
“This shows that COVID has fundamentally changed the way Americans view vaccines, said Motta, who co-authored the paper with her sister Gabrielle Motta, a Pennsylvania veterinarian, and Colorado State University political scientist Dominik Tecula.
most states You need a rabies vaccination for both cats and dogs. Other vaccines, such as parvovirus, are important for dog health. Pet vaccination rates are not tracked in the same way as vaccination rates in human children, but the US is not considered a rabies reservoir. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, Cases of rabies are reported in 60 to 70 dogs and more than 250 cats.
The pandemic, along with a broader political movement focused on vaccines, took skepticism to a new level. Less than 80% of Americans now believe that childhood vaccinations are important, a 93% increase from before the pandemic, according to an April UNICEF analysis that noted the decline in childhood immunizations as a “red alert” situation.
Some states and activists have come under the spotlight over the immunization requirements for children required for school attendance, while statewide kindergarten vaccination rates for some diseases have steadily declined over the past two years, according to the CDC. Falling vaccination rates even before the pandemic The measles reappeared for the first time in years.
“We live in a world where States plan to reduce vaccination requirements, says Motta. “What guarantees that pets won’t be the next frontier?”