COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination

woman getting vaccine in arm

Updated November 23, 2021

Vaccination protects you and those around you. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorizations (EUA) for the first COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, and issued its first full COVID-19 vaccine approval in August 2021. Based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and FDA review, most people aged 5 and older can now get vaccinated against COVID-19, and vaccines are available nationwide.

Protecting your team and practice

Vaccination is critical in the fight against COVID-19. As veterinary teams continue to provide needed healthcare services for our patients, it’s important that we and our team members get vaccinated if we and they are able. Vaccination is the best way for us to protect human health – of both team members and clients – as we continue to see patients and work within our communities. We not only protect ourselves by getting vaccinated; we protect those around us. And as trusted and respected professionals, we also set an example by getting vaccinated and telling others why we’re doing so.

Building a defense against COVID-19 is a team effort, and veterinary professionals are key members of the team. In working to address COVID-19, we have an opportunity to work alongside our physician colleagues to support concepts of prevention and actualize One Health. We recognize that vaccination is a choice, as is your decision to speak with your clients and communities about COVID-19. Some will feel comfortable doing so and others will not. If you are, we hope these free resources will help.

Vaccine access for veterinary personnel

The AVMA advocated actively and successfully at the federal level for veterinary personnel to be considered a priority group for vaccination, and we worked diligently with state and local veterinary groups to monitor vaccine rollout plans and advocate for veterinary teams’ access. Guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended those providing “veterinary services” (e.g., veterinarians and their teams) be included in early phases of the vaccine rollout, and many states did include veterinary personnel in phase 1-a, b, or c, meaning many veterinarians had early access to vaccination to help keep themselves, their teams, and their community safe while providing much-needed services.