Do Parrots Need Vaccines? (Everything About it)

When we look, most of us will find a vaccine scar on our left shoulders. This scar is because of the tuberculosis Vaccination, which over 130 million babies get it yearly. Not to mention the other vaccines that every child needs to get immune to many diseases like Diphtheria, Polio, Measles, Chickenpox, and many more depending on the age. (Read Here For more About Vaccines For People).

So, Do Parrots Need Vaccines?

And the answer is no, most pet parrots won’t need any type of vaccinations. However, in very rare cases and under certain circumstances, the parrot might need to get the polyomavirus vaccine, which is the only vaccine available for parrots. This disease can make parrots suffer, especially hatchlings.

So, yes, there is only one type of vaccine available for parrots. However, it’s not recommended for a pet parrot, and they may not need it at all.

And in this article, we will dive into everything you need to know about this topic, when you should have your pet parrot vaccinated, how much will it cost, and many more.

So, let’s get into this.

needle and vaccine

What is Polyomavirus?

Polyomavirus is a disease that might occur in parrots and other types of birds. Yes, other birds can get this disease. Unfortunately, the vaccine for this disease is only available for parrots. The danger of this disease comes mostly to the new hatchlings when they get infected by the feathers dust, and the food they get from their parents.

This means that the parents could be carriers, but not sick or showing any symptoms. So, the real danger is when the adults lay a clutch of eggs, then comes the possibility of transmitting it to their babies after they hatch. This disease can lead the hatchlings to die within 20 days and up to 140 days with the larger breeds of parrots. Some old parrots might suffer from this disease as well, but it is very rare.

What are The Symptoms of Polyomavirus?

You need to know that not all baby parrots will show symptoms of this disease, and they may grow up healthy with no problems. However, baby or adult parrots suffering from Polyomavirus may show the following symptoms.

  • A swollen (distended) abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Regurgitation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Feather abnormalities
  • Excessive urination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding (hemorrhages) below the skin
  • Listlessness
  • Tremors
  • Paralysis

If you noticed your parrot suffering from any of these symptoms, a visit to the vet is required. Besides that, these symptoms can show different illnesses, and only the professional can confirm you.

Is There a Cure For Polyomavirus?

No, there is no definitive cure for Polyomavirus. The only thing the vet can do is to relieve the symptoms. If your parrot is unlucky and suffered from this illness, expect the death of your feathery little friend.

When Your Parrot Should Get The Polyomavirus Vaccination?

In most cases, your parrot won’t need the vaccine. If you already own a pet parrot and he looks healthy, and you are regularly visiting the vet for check-ups, then your parrot is ok.

However, if you insist on giving the vaccine to your parrot, test if he is a carrier or not. And this is very easy for a professional vet to do just ask him for that.

Apart from that, you may need to do this test when you are bringing a new parrot to join your other pet parrots. The parrot you are about to buy or the long-ago bought parrot could be carriers, and they may transmit the infection. So, both need to be tested before you put them together.

The other scenario is when breeding. When your parrots attempt to breed, they may lay eggs, and these eggs will hatch and the new chicks will be exposed to infection, especially if the parents are carriers.

What Age is The Best for Polyomavirus Vaccination?

It is recommended to vaccinate the parrot at a younger age, and preferably after 1 month of hatching. This will protect the young parrot even if the parents are carriers.

Older parrots can get vaccinated as well, but doubling the dose is the major difference from getting the vaccine at a younger age.

How Many Times They Should Get The Vaccine?

For younger parrots, they can get the vaccine in the fourth week after hatching, and the second dose is given after 2-4 weeks. Older parrots can get the first dose when upon your request and the second is also after 2-4 weeks.

A yearly booster is recommended by experts thereafter.

Remember that the vet may ask for a test before administering any vaccine, if your parrot is already a carrier then the vaccine will have no effects.

How Much The Polyomavirus Vaccine Will Cost?

Expect to pay approximately $23 per dose, and if you want to buy the vaccine from other sources, you may need to pay for at least 10 doses. The best thing is to pay for the vaccine at the vet, even if you had to pay some extra dollars.

How to Protect Your Parrot From Polyomavirus?

The best way to protect your parrot from getting infected is by keeping his cage or the surrounding environment as clean as possible, especially if you have over 1 parrot living in the same cage.

This disease can transmit from bird to bird by the feathers dust, and by the close contact to droppings, which is the case with most parrot cages.

Testing the new parrot before bringing him to the cage is a good idea, and if the new bird is infected, the other one should get the vaccine. And the opposite is correct, and when your old parrot is infected, the new parrot should get the vaccine.

Regular check-ups with the veterinarian are recommended. Telling the vet about your concerns is also a great idea.

How to Tell if Your Parrot is Infected?

If you suspect your parrot may be a carrier, and no symptoms are showing, then the only way to tell is by testing.


In conclusion, most parrots won’t need any vaccinations. The only vaccine they might need is to protect them from the Polyomavirus disease. And this disease can pose a danger in very rare cases to parrots, especially the new hatchlings.

Besides that, the common vaccine for Polyomavirus is not proven to protect the parrot from getting sick, not to mention that the old parrots will mostly be a carrier with no signs. And if that is the case, the parrot won’t need any vaccination.

The only danger, as I mentioned earlier, is mostly with the new babies. So, if you have a new baby parrot, younger than 1 month, you may need to give the vaccine, especially if you don’t know whether the parents are carriers.

Once your parrot gets infected with Polyomavirus, you need to know that there is no cure for it, and the best thing is to vaccinate other parrots and ask for veterinary advice.

Several negative tests are needed to be certain that a bird is not a carrier. A polyomavirus vaccine is available for selected psittacine birds (parrots) as an aid in the prevention of avian polyomavirus.

And yes, that’s about it, hope you find this article informative and easy to digest…