The Truth About Annual Vaccinations

Time for annual vaccination? Before you bring your pet to the vet, check out the pros and cons!

If you have not given it much thought about whether annual booster vaccinations are necessary fur your kids (get the pun?), you may want to give it some thought now! Here are some pointers that you might want to take note of before sending your kids off to the vet to get their annual jabs!

What many seem to be unaware of, is that annual vaccinations are a thing of the past; one without scientific validation. Though our dogs are accustomed to receive their yearly vaccinations, there have been studies, little to none, which verified their effectiveness. Simply put, vaccinations are merely beliefs for worrywart owners like myself, (some would coin it ‘kiasu’), “playing it safe” to make sure our dogs are always in the pink of their health.

Thanks to all the medical research and studies of late, this old belief has since been debunked. Let’s find out more, shall we?

What is a vaccination?

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Like myself, most people misconstrue vaccinations as injections filled with miracle “cures” – They’re not, just so you were wondering. 

By definition, vaccination is the administration of antigenic material (a vaccine) to stimulate an individual’s immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a pathogen. In simple words, vaccines are weakened versions of an actual disease, injected into our bodies to develop antibodies against that disease.

So there you have it.

Vaccines are not magic waters or vitamins that boost your pups’ health! They are merely a catalyst to promote growth of antibodies against the disease living in your pups. If little scooby is indeed healthy and rid of disease, why opt for deliberate injections filled with weakened diseases?

Dr. Tom Phillips & Dr. Ronald Schultz

According to a well-known article written by Dr. Tom Phillips and Dr Ronald Schultz and the Chairman of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences,  School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Wisconsin said this about vaccinations:

“A practice that was started many years ago that lack scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination

In the same article, Dr Phillips also elaborated that the booster shots will not work on dogs containing current antibodies from their past vaccinations, due to the antibodies’ nature of neutralising booster shots.

Other sources also similarly reported that not all vaccines need to be given every year. What’s more, in cats, repeated booster shots can cause more harm than good eventually in some cases.

Is it still necessary?

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The bottom line is: Vaccines aren’t harmless. Ever heard of the saying that too much of a good thing would kill ya’? The same logic applies: Would you visit a doctor for an injection against a disease that you don’t have? Same goes with the dogs.

So, what do you think? Are you still up for the annual booster jab? We’ll leave it to you. We believe what is more important would be the annual health check, as compared to the booster jab. Administer those annual jabs only if they really need it!

Otherwise,  giving your dog the jab every 3 years may seem to be a safer and wiser approach. As always, consult your trusted vet to schedule a suitable time slot for jabs for your little cute ones!

 

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Updated: March 10, 2017.

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