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Study: Correlation Between Human and Pet Vaccine Hesitancy

holding dog's paw

Findings from a 2023 survey study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University School of Public Health and published in the journal Vaccine has provided evidence there is a correlation between the attitudes of people toward human vaccines and pet vaccines. They found that people concerned about the safety, effectiveness and necessity of human vaccines are also concerned about pet vaccines, and that concern is a strong predictor of whether pet owners will choose to get their pets vaccinated.1

The study analyzed data from an August 2023 survey of more than 2,000 dog owners and more than 1,400 cat owners to evaluate pet vaccination rates, attitudes towards vaccination, and support for pet vaccination requirements.2

Respondents were asked if they owned a dog, a cat, or both. Dog and cat owners were also asked about their pets’ vaccine status for three diseases that affect dogs and three diseases that affect cats, which included rabies vaccine for dogs and cats, canine parvovirus and canine distemper vaccines for dogs, and feline panleukopenia and feline Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines for cats, which is related to B. pertussis (whooping cough) in humans. The respondents were then asked to rate their support for vaccination requirements for each of the listed diseases.3

Survey Questions Respondents About Trust in Scientists and Vaccine Mandates

In addition to the questions about pet vaccines, respondents were also asked about their level of trust in scientists, support for vaccine mandates for children, political ideology, religious beliefs, non-veterinary expenses and frequency of exposure of their dogs to other dogs outside of their home. The respondents were also asked about their perceptions of safety, efficacy and importance of human vaccines.

The results of the study highlighted that a majority of pet owners had vaccinated their dogs and cats against rabies, although cats were vaccinated less often than dogs. Other core vaccines (vaccines recommended for all pets regardless of lifestyle) had slightly lower rates, but generally still had a high overall uptake. Pet owners had the highest vaccine hesitancy for non-core vaccines.4

Hesitancy for Human Vaccines Spills Over to Hesitancy for Pet Vaccines

In the last decade, surveys show that a growing number of Americans are choosing to opt out of getting vaccinated, especially over the past three years following declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic and promotion of COVID shots. However, research investigating pet vaccine hesitancy has been very limited.

The researchers of the 2023 survey study hypothesized that there are good reasons to believe that there is “spillover,” which causes individuals, who are skeptical of human vaccines, to transfer their concerns to pet vaccines. Researchers define “spillovers”as situations where behavioral or attitude changes with regard to one concept exert influence on attitudes or behavior in a related concept.5

The positive correlation between vaccine hesitancy for human vaccines and pet vaccines suggests the potential for spillover effects, but vaccine hesitancy for pets is not as high as it is with human vaccination. This is particularly true for parents hesitating to give their children vaccines like annual flu and COVID shots, which fall outside of the “core” vaccines recommended for children, such as tetanus, pertussis, polio and measles vaccines.6 7


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6 Responses

  1. 1 don’t believe the survey. Don’t believe the answer, if the alternative answer could be used against them.
    2. it appears that they care much more about marking than safety.
    It would be more important to find out if the vaccinated pets lived longer healthier lives with less medical expenses.

    1. I have never vaccinated my pets or my kids, or me since adulthood. My kids have have near perfect attendance and one never caught COVID at all. Both attended school during COVID on a limited basis and we never wore masks unless we were forced to.
      My pets, dogs have averaged 15+ yrs
      My cats 18+ yrs
      My rabbit is still doing fine at 6

      So that’s all the proof I need. Hope that helps😀

  2. Hesitancy blindly assumes that the prospective vaccine recipient still trusts big pharma but has certain reservations, at least temporarily. On the other hand, there are those of us who will never take any vaccines or mRNA substances not because we are hesitant, but because we do not believe the lies and propaganda. That is what these silly fools cannot understand. I cannot be hesitant in the first place if I never considered taking any of these murder juices.

  3. I am on the side of not vaccinating my dog. The only one I give her is rabies as if she would bite someone they would put her down. I make sure that my vet has thimersol free rabies vaccine. I do not board her in a kennel-therefore avoiding “requirements”. I believe these multiple doses are toxic for our pets. I have witnessed it in my personal circle.
    Five years-the majority of people would never have believed in the disgusting failure of our doctors and scientist to protect all. Now-every fact that comes out leads back to the almighty dollar without regard to safety.

  4. We got a 10 lb toy poodle bichon mix from he shelter in 2009. He was given one year shots from them. The following year I took him to the vet and he was given 3/3 year vaccines. He had his first seizure about 5 hours later. The seizures kept coming until we took him to a vet and he put him on phenobarbital. We never got him another vaccine. He was on the phenobarbital for the rest of his life which ended in October of 2022. One vet told me he got epilepsy and it just happened that his first seizure was right after the vaccines. Another told us that it was probably the vaccines. When this happened to him I started doing my research on them. If I knew in the mid 70s when my children were born what I know today I never would have gotten them any

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