The anti-vaxx movement has been getting a lot of attention lately, partly due to social media companies cracking down on them and partly because of outrageous stories of people refusing to vaccinate their kids despite them getting sick.
But a rather alarming statistic has revealed that the movement isn't confined to just humans; it seems as though some people aren't vaccinating their pets as well.
Sydney veterinarian Dr Sam Kovac told The Daily Telegraph: "It is increasingly worrying how many people are analysing and making decisions based on what they can get off YouTube and Google, rather than from peer-reviewed research or legitimate scientific journals.
"Pet anti-vaxxers are adamant that vaccinations can cause deleterious effects as severe as autism, despite the fact there are no recorded cases of animals with the condition."
The problem has been further highlighted in a report titled Britain's People's Dispensary for Sick Animals.
One of the main strongholds the anti-vaxx movement stands behind is that vaccines can cause autism. Obviously this isn't a concern for animals because they can't develop autism, but even if they could, they wouldn't get it from a vaccine.
The report found that out of 4,600 pet owners surveyed, 25 percent who had dogs hadn't vaccinated them.
The document from 2018 said that 20 percent of dog owners thought it was 'unnecessary' for them to get their animal vaccinated. A further 19 percent said it was 'too expensive', 13 percent said that they were 'against the idea' and 11 percent said they 'hadn't thought about it'.
It was worse for cats, with 35 percent of owners not getting the proper jabs when the animal was young; nearly 50 percent of rabbit owners are in the same position.
The authors of the study said: "[T]he figures for pets not receiving primary vaccinations and regular boosters may threaten population-level immunity.
"Clearly, more education is needed to impress the importance of regular vaccinations to prevent potentially fatal diseases in cats.
"Equally, ways of reducing cat stress in veterinary clinics could also be a way of encouraging more cat owners to take their pet in for vaccinations."
It's beggars belief why you wouldn't want to give your pet the best chance at fighting disease. But it just highlights some people's indifference to vaccines.
You'd think if someone or something got sick from something that was preventable, you'd agree that it was probably the best way forward to get vaccinated.
Well, parents decided against getting further vaccinations for their son, despite him having spent 47 days in ICU after contracting tetanus.
"When I read that, my jaw dropped," said Dr William Schaffner, an expert in infectious diseases and chair at the department of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. "I could not believe it. That's a tragedy and a misunderstanding and I'm just flabbergasted.
"This is an awful disease, but... we have had a mechanism to completely prevent it, and the reason that we have virtually no cases anymore in the United States is because we vaccinate, literally, everyone."
Featured Image Credit: PA