Vaccine Safety

Proven vaccine safety


Since vaccines were introduced, vaccinations of the vast majority of people and their pets have resulted in a drastic decline in vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, vaccines have been so successful people have forgotten a time before vaccines when devastating diseases caused sickness and death in millions of people and animals.

Be Vaccine Smart by getting information from reliable sources


After decades of proven vaccine effectiveness and safety, some pet owners now doubt the safety of vaccines, resulting in a public that expects vaccines to be 100 percent safe and a public that may not believe diseases are still a threat. Veterinarians are up to date on these issues and can give you facts and credible tools from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. that discuss some of the misperceptions regarding vaccine safety.

The prevalence of dog and cat diseases in shelters.


Vaccination is the cornerstone of disease prevention.



The World Health Organization has made worldwide access to clean, safe water one of its eight goals to achieve by 2015.


Smallpox is the only vaccine-preventable disease in people that has been declared by the World Health Organization to be eradicated worldwide.


The fear of sarcomas has stopped many pet owners from vaccinating their cats. Sarcomas are a rare form of cancer and are often fatal. But know the facts. If you remember one thing, remember this: injection-site sarcomas are extremely rare. There is about a 1-in-10,000 to 1-in-30,000* chance that a cat will develop an injection-site sarcoma. This risk is far outweighed by the benefits a cat will have from receiving the vaccination. Vaccinated cats have a very slim chance of developing a sarcoma, but unvaccinated cats have a significant chance of developing a severe, potentially fatal disease such as rabies or panleukopenia. Injection-site sarcomas are not a good reason to stop vaccinating, but you should understand that it is a rare but possible side effect. Always be aware of lumps that remain more than a month at the site of injection, and notify your veterinarian if you have any concerns.


Source: Kass, PH, and Gobar, GM, JAVMA (220) 2002, 1477-1482.