Merck Animal Health Offers up to $1,000 per Sick Pet That Missed Vaccinations
The COVID-19 Nobivac Relief Plan is designed to support veterinary practices in the wake of a pandemic that forced many pet owners to push back preventative care.
The COVID-19 crisis has changed consumer behavior in many ways, but one particularly troubling trend for veterinary professionals is a decline in pet vaccinations and preventative care.
Merck Animal Health designed its COVID-19 Nobivac Relief Plan as a safety net of sorts for its partner practices and pet owners. The program will cover the cost of diagnostics and treatment up to $1,000 if a dog or cat develops a disease as a result of missing its booster dose during the pandemic.
Coverage for dogs diagnosed with:
• Canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 1 or 2, or canine parvovirus within 6 months past their scheduled Merck Animal Health booster
• Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, enteric coronavirus, canine influenza virus (H3N2 and/or H3N8), parainfluenza, or Bordetella, within 3 months past their Merck Animal Health scheduled booster
Coverage for cats diagnosed with:
• Feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, or panleukopenia virus within 6 months past their Merck Animal Health scheduled booster
• Feline leukemia virus within 3 months past their Merck Animal Health scheduled booster
Christine Royal, DVM and Executive Director of Veterinary Professional Services at Merck Animal Health, stresses the importance of veterinary professionals contacting their territory manager or the company’s pharmacovigilance team to make sure they capitalize on the program.
“The No. 1 thing that they need to keep in mind is if they have questions, simply call us. Call our pharmacovigilance line; we’re there to help support customers in any way we can. Don’t hold back if you have questions, just reach out,” says Royal.
VetWatch publishes weekly updates on purchasing trends among 32,000+ shelters and clinics, and canine and feline core vaccine purchases were down at least 5% year over year from Jan. 1 to May 2.
“No matter what reports you look at, veterinary visits are down. And we know from the vaccine side that’s also decreased,” says Dr. Royal. “As clinics start to open up, they could potentially use this as an opportunity to get pet owners to come in and say: ‘for right now you’re covered. It’s critically important that you vaccinate. Let’s get them into the clinic.’”
Dr. Royal says that the company has never developed a program that supports practices in this way.
“When COVID started to unfold and we started to see it impacting the veterinary profession, we asked ourselves how we could help our veterinarians and the animals that they care for,” she says. “We wanted to provide a pathway to support veterinarians, pet owners, and pets along the way.
“When veterinary teams are giving a vaccine and choosing a company to partner with, they can have the confidence in Merck Animal Health that we’re doing what we can to support them and go the extra mile in developing this program and partnership.”
The program caps the individual benefit at $1,000 per pet, and is applicable for dogs and cats diagnosed between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The pets must have been vaccinated with a Merck Animal Health product by a veterinarian. For more details, contact Merck Animal Health or see its brochure.