The AVMA launched a nationwide education and awareness campaign in November to encourage veterinary teams, their clients, and the general public to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We want our veterinary staff, animal owners and our communities to be safe and healthy, and that’s why we join our colleagues in human medicine and science in actively promoting the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. José Arce, AVMA president, in an announcement about the campaign.
The effort was encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because the agency recognizes the key role of veterinarians in society and public health.
“Veterinary medicine has a clear public health mission,” Dr. Arce noted. “In fact, when we take our Oath, we specifically commit to the ‘promotion of public health.’ Encouraging preventive health care, including vaccination, is part of that commitment. Especially with flu season underway and the approach of winter, we strongly encourage vaccination to protect overall public well-being.”
It is estimated on the basis of survey findings that approximately 90% of AVMA members are already vaccinated. This demonstrates the value that veterinarians place on preventive care and their confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, according to the AVMA.
The campaign, scheduled to run through late December, includes a wide range of print and digital materials available to AVMA members, such as a social media toolkit, brochures, a video, and posters. The materials encourage staff members, animal owners and the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Get these resources.
“Veterinarians are healthcare providers trusted not only by their clients but by the public at large, we understand the power of vaccines, and we have been enlisted as COVID vaccination providers in some areas,” said Dr. Arce, who is a practicing veterinarian in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We recognize that vaccination is a choice and that not everyone may be able to receive one. But we are uniquely qualified to share the importance of preventing and controlling disease in both animals and people. Protecting public health is part of a veterinarian’s responsibility and appropriate preventive care, including vaccinations, goes a long way towards protecting public health.”