Pet Vaccines Shed Light on Human Hesitancy: Surprising Study Insights

Exploring the Uncharted Territory of Pet Vaccine Hesitancy

In a recent study, Simon F. Haeder delves into the scarcely explored domain of pet vaccination hesitancy. The study investigates  potential links to human vaccination attitudes amidst the complexities of the COVID-19 era. 

This research illuminates the understudied aspects of pet vaccination. It also shedds light on the interconnectedness of public health attitudes towards vaccines for both humans and their pets.

Unravelling the Nexus Between Human and Pet Vaccine Hesitancy

This study actively investigates a critical yet under-explored area of public health: the correlation between pet vaccine hesitancy and human attitudes towards vaccination. Highlighting the significance of this research, the study explores the parallels and divergences in vaccination perceptions and practices for humans and their pets, thereby contributing valuable insights to the field of public health.

Decoding Pet Vaccination Views: A Comprehensive Survey Approach

In the heart of this study, Haeder employed a robust methodology to uncover the attitudes towards pet vaccination. On August 18 and 19, 2023, a comprehensive survey involving 3,958 American adults was actively conducted.

This survey was designed to gauge public opinion. It focused on the vaccination status of dogs and cats against a range of diseases. This included rabies, canine parvovirus, and feline herpesvirus-1, among others. The survey extended beyond mere vaccination status, probing into the respondents’ support for mandatory vaccinations for these diseases. 

Haeder elaborates, “We fielded a large, national survey… to assess U.S. public opinion about the vaccination status of dogs and cats in the United States.” This meticulous approach allowed for a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between pet vaccination practices and broader societal attitudes.

Survey Results: A Deeper Dive into Pet and Human Vaccine Attitudes

The survey conducted by Haeder revealed nuanced insights into pet and human vaccination trends. A key finding was the high vaccination rates among pets for core vaccines, particularly rabies, with a noted difference between dogs and cats. The data showed that while most pet owners were proactive in vaccinating their pets against major diseases, there was a discernible level of hesitancy toward non-core vaccines. This hesitancy presents a critical area for further exploration, considering the potential health risks unvaccinated pets pose to both themselves and humans.

Further, the study highlighted an intriguing connection between human vaccine attitudes and pet vaccination behaviours. It became evident that individuals’ perceptions about the importance, efficacy, and safety of vaccines were not only crucial in shaping their own health choices but also influenced their decisions regarding pet vaccinations. This finding suggests a potential spillover effect, where attitudes and beliefs about human health directly impact decisions in pet health care.

Another noteworthy aspect from the results was the less pronounced political polarisation in pet vaccination compared to human vaccination. This difference proposes that the factors driving vaccine hesitancy and acceptance in pets might be distinct from those in human contexts, offering a unique angle for developing targeted public health interventions.

These results provide a comprehensive view of the current state of vaccine hesitancy in both human and pet populations, highlighting areas of concern and opportunities for intervention.

Implications of the Study Findings: Bridging Human and Pet Health Perspectives

The implications of Haeder’s findings are profound for public health strategies. 

The study’s revelation that pet vaccination hesitancy is less politically influenced than human vaccine hesitancy offers a unique perspective. It suggests that interventions to address pet vaccine hesitancy might require different strategies than those used for human vaccinations. Haeder’s research thus opens a new avenue in understanding how pet owners’ perceptions can influence broader public health outcomes. This further highlights the  need for holistic approaches in addressing vaccine hesitancy.


  1. Strong connections found between vaccine hesitancy and support for vaccinating pets. (2023, December 23). ScienceDaily.
  2. Haeder, S. F. (2023, November 1). Assessing vaccine hesitancy and support for vaccination requirements for pets and potential Spillovers from humans. Vaccine.

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