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Annual Vaccinations for Pets Unnecessary Says Veterinarian

Story Highlights
  • Holistic veterinarian Dr. Michele Yasson believes that vaccines can do more harm than good in family pets.
  • She is adamant in her belief that annual vaccinations are unnecessary.
  • Many veterinarians use vaccination as a means to induce pet owners to bring their animals in for annual well-pet checkups.

Holistic veterinarian Dr. Michele Yasson is not a fan of vaccinating pets. She believes that vaccines cause or worsen chronic diseases in animals. Among the animals she treats in her practice, the dogs and cats that have been vaccinated year after year tend to have more chronic problems in old age than those that were either minimally vaccinated during their first year or were never vaccinated at all.

No More Annual Vaccines

One of Dr. Yasson’s biggest complaints is the common practice of annually vaccinating pets. Citing Current Veterinary Therapy, 11th Edition, which she lists as “one of the most significant textbooks in veterinary medicine to date,” Dr. Yasson says it has been scientifically proven that “initial vaccine protection lasts a lifetime in dogs and cats.”

Clarifying that blanket statement, she adds that the effect of vaccination against most bacterial pathogens is sustained for many years, and probably for the life of the animal; revaccination with viral vaccines commonly fails to provoke an immune system response at all due to pre-existing antibodies; and toxin vaccines (such as tetanus), which may wane over time, are not currently used in dogs or cats. The only vaccine that may need to be repeated annually is the rabies vaccine, which is required by law in some states. It is important to be aware that the annual requirement for rabies vaccination is not because the vaccine itself is any different from the others: Its effect also most likely lasts for the lifetime of the pet.

What’s Behind the Practice of Annual Vaccination?

When pet vaccines were first introduced, FDA labeling requirements called for proof of effectiveness for a given period of time. Once vaccine manufacturers had their scientific proof that a vaccine’s effect was sustained over the course of a year, they used that number in labeling and never looked further to see how much longer they actually lasted.

In explaining why so many veterinarians insist on annual vaccines, Dr. Yasson says that many veterinarians use it as a means to compel pet owners to bring their animals in for annual well-patient exams, and points out that “there is strong financial incentive not to change the status quo of annual revaccination… [there also] is the incorrect prevailing idea that vaccines are wholly benign.”

To minimize the negative impact of pet vaccination, a simple blood test can be done to check for the presence of titers, which indicate the concentration of antibodies against a given pathogen. With the rabies vaccine, which is so commonly required by law, it is particularly important both to provide supportive homeopathic care to minimize vaccine reactions, and to administer a size-appropriate dose—“a chihuahua does not need the same dose as a mastiff!”


Read the full article at Holistic Vaccination: Vaccine Avoidance: Protect Your Pet from Over-Vaccination and Vaccinosis on Holistic Veterinary Services.

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