Anti-vaxxers will strongly oppose science, logic and the doctor’s consensus all in the name of comfortability among parents and small humans. Heaven forbid however, a dog or animal in general misses his or her shots. If not vaccinating animals is basis for animal cruelty charges, what does that mean for anti-vaxxer parents and children?
As a dog, I am not always present for my puppies’ veterinarian appointments, but it seems my puppies have received more shots prior to eating solid food than my owner’s two-legged baby during the same time period.
From smallpox to the common cold, vaccines are cures for otherwise terrible ailments that once devastated entire populations. However, anti-vaccine rhetoric has seemingly outlived some diseases and has now reached the ears of veterinarians and pet owner forums.
Starting at six to eight weeks, puppies can start to be immunized. Within 24 hours of birth, babies are given the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine and become eligible to receive the second dose between one and two months along with the first dose of the rotavirus vaccine.
Starting in the late ‘90s, the “anti-vaxxer movement,” or the act of delaying vaccines, only getting two at a time or not getting them at all in order to thwart, among other things, autism, started when the then Dr. A. J. Wakefield’s research paper debuted in the Lancet medical journal linking the MMR vaccine and autism.
It was later revealed Wakefield’s data was skewed and embellished. He was then stripped of his medical license and the paper was retracted from the Lancet.
This rhetoric has continued to be entertained and the popularity of the anti-vaxxer movement now rests on the backs of the likes of President Donald Trump, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other celebrities and politicians, even when no scientific proof has been revealed to link the two.
You can believe a disgraced doctor whose only real claim to fame was stirring the pot of medical bullshit, or you can believe a truth-spreading dog, but please keep your dirty hippie unvaccinated kids away from me and my puppies before someone gets hurt.
At six weeks old, my puppies were dosed with distemper, measles and parainfluenza and had as many vaccines as infants on my opposition’s “alternative” vaccination schedule, which only calls for diphtheria pertussis (DTaP) and rotavirus during those same months.
Imagine a group of dogs concerned with intellectually disabled pups thinking that getting off the rabies vaccine would help. Cases of rabies would sky rocket. In Hays county alone last year, there were 20 cases of rabid bats. A curious or dumb dog need only get bitten by the bat in order to contract the deadly virus. Rabies vaccines are not given to pets to protect the animals, rather to protect humans. The rabies vaccine for dogs and other animals is lifesaving in the same way that vaccines are for people.
What are you people? Mangy strays? Actually, even the city shelter offers immunizations to strays. Dogs and cats just scooped up off the street become fully immunized in a matter of days to weeks. Are you telling me the human race can domesticate beasts but not itself?
There is a thing called “herd immunity” or “pack” immunity for dogs. Herd immunity suggests resistance to the spread of a disease results within a community or pack that is immune to the disease, especially by vaccination.
Middle ground policies like the alternative vaccination schedule, which would sound like a compromise, do more harm than good in bringing the herd’s immunity down.
There is no scientific research to support the claim there is a link between vaccines and autism, or that there is an overload or shock to the child or infant’s system because of the scheduling of vaccines. Dogs can only see in black and white, and that’s where that fact lies: in the black and white answer.
—Frida Beagle is a registered emotional support animal and mother to three puppies. Jakob Rodriguez is a journalism sophomore.