Well you remember the Johnny Depp saga lolI treat and vaccinate for a few reasons;
A) the rate of unvaccinated and untreated dogs where I am means that Echo and other dogs she comes in contact with are at risk of catching a nasty if I don't.
B) she has demonstrated a susceptibility to parasites.
C) I'm moving to Australia in the future and they have extremely strict entry requirements.
The small percentage of the population that choose not to vaccinate at all are able to do so without issues because of herd immunity. When enough people vaccinate, it basically eliminates the spread of the disease so that the few unvaccinated aren't at risk. The problem is that if enough people don't vaccinate, herd immunity is lost. This is bad news for those who depend on herd immunity because they can't be vaccinated for various reasons. For this reason, I personally think that people should vaccinate if they can.
That said, there are problems with vaccines. Over vaccination is a big one, but probably the easiest to remedy. Do some research and determine an appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet. Do titer tests. More worriesome are the negative side effects. I personally have not researched them very much, but I know that they are the main reason people choose not to vaccinate.
You have obviously researched this extensively, and I completely respect your opinion. Who knows, I might even share it one day after I have done my share of research.@piano88, you bring up herd immunity as a reason to vaccinate and you also seem to imply that those that choose not to vaccinate are somehow mooching off those who do and take the risks (which you haven't researched). As a non-vaxxer, I can assure you mooching off others is not what I am doing. I don't rely on the vaccinated to protect my children or animals, I have faith in their fully functioning immune system to keep them healthy and disease-free, and so far this seems to have worked perfectly for both my children and my dog.
As for herd immunity, you have repeated the common misunderstanding of the concept that the media parrots ad nauseum, and went into a frenzy about with the Disney measles outbreak. The problem is the vaccinated get the diseases for which they are vaccinated. Take measles, for the first twenty or so years that the vaccine was used only one dose was "needed" but there were enough outbreaks of the disease in the vaccinated that a second dose was introduced in 1989, supposedly to catch the 2 to 5 percent of non-responders to the first dose, (note once a non-responder always a non-responder). The vaccine immunity to the first dose lasts between 5 and 10 years, to the second dose even less, maybe 2 years, and the mumps component probably less than that*. People who are old enough to have gotten by with just one dose of MMR are likely now no longer immune to measles (or mumps), so where's the herd immunity there? But the thing is we really are not seeing major outbreaks of these diseases. I will also note, that in China 99% of the population is vaccinated for measles and they do see major outbreaks of the disease.
As for whooping cough (pertussis), even they CDC has admitted the non-vaccinated have nothing to do with the outbreaks. NIH research has demonstrated in baboons that those vaccinated with pertussis, can still harbor the bacteria when exposed for up to 35 days and infect others. Those with naturally acquired immunity are able to neutralize the bacteria and cannot infect others (naturally immunity to whooping cough also likely lasts at least 30 years and around 25% of infections in the pre-vaccination era were asymptomatic), so in all likelihood, the vaccinated are spreading the disease. So where's the herd immunity? This is probably the same with kennel cough (similar bordetella bacteria), as we see many cases of the disease in fully vaccinated dogs.
I can go into the history of the theory, but this isn't really the right forum to do this, but I will say that herd immunity as a theory was formulated in relation to naturally acquired immunity which for almost every disease is life-long, vaccine-acquired immunity is not by a long way.
* Merck, the manufacturer of the MMR and specifically the mumps vaccine is currently being sued for fraud by two former Merck virologists for falsifying the efficacy of the mumps vaccine. We are now seeing outbreaks of mumps in fully vaccinated (two doses) populations, mostly college students, oops.
It is awesome that you are even willing to look at the issue with honesty, I commend you, because most cannot. Vaccines are considered untouchable, sacrosanct, where in fact, the subject is a cesspool of misinformation and down right lies.You have obviously researched this extensively, and I completely respect your opinion. Who knows, I might even share it one day after I have done my share of research.
You are mistaken when you say that I haven't researched the risks of vaccines. I have a dog - of course I did some research on side effects before getting him vaccinated. Not super extensive research, but I am not ignorant. I have only recently reached the age where I believe people start being able to do "smart research" on a topic this complex. By that I mean being able to recognize reliable sources and analyzing complicated information in a logical manner. Considering the relatively limited amount of research I have done, it wasn't one of my best ideas to post as I did .
I would be very interested in any peer-reviewed studies on the subject that you could refer me to.