Assess COVID-19 vaccine uptake among veterinarians and describe unvaccinated veterinarians’ perceptions of COVID-19 disease and vaccines.
2,721 (14%) of 19,654 randomly sampled AVMA members.
A survey of AVMA members was conducted between June 8 and June 18, 2021. Information was collected on COVID-19 experience, vaccination intention, and perceptions of COVID-19 disease and vaccines.
A total of 2,721 AVMA members completed the survey. Most respondents reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccine (89% [2,428/2,721]). Most unvaccinated respondents disagreed with concerns about contracting (67% [196/292]) or being harmed by (65% [187/287]) COVID-19 but agreed with concerns about short- (79% [228/290]) and long-term (89% [258/289]) side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. Over 91% (268/292) did not agree that COVID-19 vaccine benefits outweigh the risk. Although 83% (244/293) of unvaccinated respondents reported being unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, 47% (137/291) agreed they would be more likely if they knew people vaccinated without serious side effects. Perceptions of COVID-19 disease severity and susceptibility, beliefs about COVID-19 vaccine benefits, and barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccination varied with vaccination intention.
Results of the AVMA survey suggested that COVID-19 vaccination was widespread among veterinarians in June 2021. Understanding unvaccinated respondents’ health beliefs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines may facilitate veterinarian vaccination participation. Veterinarians who abstained from COVID-19 vaccination cited concerns about the safety, efficacy, and necessity of COVID-19 vaccines. Our results suggested that demonstrating vaccine safety and a favorable risk-to-benefit ratio of vaccination may help reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among veterinarians.
To assess (1) veterinarians’ knowledge and practices regarding disposal of euthanized animals, (2) the extent to which veterinarians communicate with their clients about potential risks of rendering pentobarbital-euthanized animals, and (3) the extent to which veterinarians communicate potential relay toxicosis and environmental risks of pentobarbital-euthanized animals to clients.
A stratified random sample of AVMA members.
Over a 3-week period in early 2021, 16,831 of the AVMA’s 99,500 members were surveyed, with 2,093 responses (a 12% response rate). Respondents were assigned to 1 of 3 categories on the basis of their answers: veterinarians euthanizing only food-producing species, veterinarians euthanizing only non–food-producing species, and veterinarians euthanizing both food-producing and non–food-producing species (ie, veterinarians euthanizing mixed species).
Veterinarians responding to this survey appeared to be aware of the major methods of animal disposal, and about 89% reported communicating the method of euthanasia with clients to help ensure appropriate animal disposal. However, the need for additional education on local, state, and federal laws and rendering, as well as on risks of relay toxicosis including wildlife predation and environmental impacts, was reported.
Survey results identified gaps in veterinarians’ knowledge regarding animal disposal following pentobarbital euthanasia. Further education on this topic may be beneficial, particularly for early- and midcareer veterinarians who euthanize non–food-producing species and for veterinarians who euthanize mixed species in urban and suburban communities.