Discussing The Importance Of Vaccinations, How They Work, And The Month-Long Holiday That Promotes Them

The concept of the vaccine has been around since 1796 when Edward Jenner experimentally created a reliable vaccine for smallpox. The use of this vaccine ultimately saved millions of human lives. Vaccines are still commonly used today for both people and pets. The month of August celebrates vaccinations with the month-long holiday National Pet Immunization Awareness Month. This article will go over everything you need to know about vaccinations and the month-long holiday that promotes them. 

Pet vaccines

What Is A Vaccine?

A vaccine contains an inactive or weakened part of a specific organism called an antigen. When this antigen is introduced to the body (usually through injection), it triggers an immune response. The antigen will not cause the disease in the person or pet receiving the vaccine. But, it will cause their immune system to respond as if it were fighting off the corresponding disease/infection. 

Because of this, the person’s or animal’s body will remember the disease or infection and know how to better defeat it should they be exposed to it again in the future. Basically, a vaccine provides a controlled amount of exposure to a specific disease or infection. This then helps the body build up a tolerance or immunity to it before actually being exposed to the disease or infection. 

The Importance Of Vaccinations 

Vaccines play an important role in both human and animal health. Both humans and animals are susceptible to a wide variety of diseases, viruses, and infections. You are exposing yourself to these infections and diseases on a daily basis simply by leaving the house. The best way to deal with these viruses and infections is to take preventative measures through vaccinations. 

Two Holidays In One Month

Vaccinations are so important for both people and pets that there are actually two month-long holidays that promote immunizations. The month of August is home to both National Pet Immunization Awareness Month (for pets) and National Immunization Awareness Month (for people). Think of these holidays as friendly reminders to schedule routine vaccination appointments for both yourself and your furry friends. 

Vaccines For Dogs

The two basic types of vaccines are core (essential) and non-core (optional). While core vaccines are generally applicable to everyone, non-core vaccines will only be necessary based upon lifestyle, geographic location, and risk of exposure. This information is provided by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  

Common core vaccines for dogs include canine adenovirus type 2, canine parvovirus type 2, rabies, and canine distemper virus. Non-core vaccines for dogs include canine influenza vaccine, canine leptospirosis vaccine, Western diamondback rattlesnake toxoid, canine Lyme vaccine, and the Bordetella vaccine. 

Vaccines For Cats

The aforementioned categories of vaccines, core and non-core, apply to cats as well. Always consult with your veterinarian to assess what vaccines are appropriate for your cat. Some vaccines will only be necessary based on your cat’s risk of exposure, geographical location, and lifestyle. 

Common core vaccines for cats include feline herpesvirus-1, feline leukemia, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia. Non-core vaccines for cats include Chlamydia felis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and feline immunodeficiency virus.  

How To Observe This Holiday

One of the best ways to observe National Pet Immunization Awareness Month is to double check that all of your pets vaccinations are up-to-date. Talk to your veterinarian to make sure that your pets are fully protected and up-to-date with all of their vaccinations. 

Another way to observe National Pet Immunization Awareness Month is to spread the word about it. Post about the holiday on social media and be sure to use the handle #nationalpetimmunizationawarenessmonth. The more people that know about it, the more people that can celebrate it! Don’t forget to share the link to this article as well! 

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