Parents Not Following Vaccine Recommendations

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According to a recent US survey, more than one out of every ten parents in the US make use of a different vaccine schedule for their children, and this also includes parents who refuse to have their kids vaccinated. According to the findings, experts worry that in the future, more parents may be non-compliant to the recommendations—a situation which will raise the risk for kids to suffer from diseases like measles and pertussis. This will also increase the chances of having outbreaks of these diseases in schools where most kids are exposed to.

“The vaccines that we recommend have been so effective in largely eliminating the vaccine-preventable diseases that most parents don’t have first, second or even third-hand experience with these diseases,” said Dr. Amanda Dempsey, one of the authors of the new report on vaccination.

Dempsey said in an interview that “Whether or not to get their kids vaccinated is more of a theoretical concern or concept for them. These are really real risks that are out there. None of these diseases are completely eradicated.” According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), kids six years and younger should be given the vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as well as vaccines against whooping cough, chicken pox, seasonal flu and hepatitis.

The survey was carried out through the internet and included about 748 parents of children with kids aged six months to six years. Of all the respondents, 13% shared that they employ a different vaccine schedule than that proposed or recommended by the CDC. The parents also admitted having refused to have their kids vaccinated and delayed until their kids were older because they feel that it is safer.

According to Dempsey, the safety and effectiveness of these alternative schedules have not been proven yet. Furthermore, among those parents who followed the suggested schedule for vaccinations, about a quarter said that delaying the vaccine shots would be safer and the recommended schedule isn’t the best schedule to follow.

Dempsey is concerned that the parents may subsequently stop getting their kids vaccinated according to the schedule. “It’s really quite worrisome to me,” she shared. “Vaccine refusal and delay is not likely to go away anytime soon, and is likely to get significantly worse over time. We may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg right now.”

Parents who digress from the schedule of vaccines usually share safety concerns, especially the now-disproved link between vaccination and autism. According to Saad Omer, an infectious disease researcher at the Emory University in Atlanta, what the parents miss is the risks that these vaccines are fighting against. “Parents often have this perception that it’s a benign choice, whether to vaccinate or not,” he said. Furthermore, he noted that “Infectious diseases are somewhat unique in a way in that others’ behavior directly influences you or your child’s risk of disease.”

According to Dempsey, with the diseases in the US and the risks of getting sick nowadays even if not vaccinated, is pretty low… but then we can never be sure that it’s not going to be our kid.

 

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Comments

  1. Good article. Thanks. I myself believe in having all my kids vaccinated. With all the things going around these days, it’s all I could do to protect my children. If the good doctors have something that can help in the seemingly overwhelming task of keeping kids healthy and safe, then I’d definitely take advantage of those.

  2. Robert Manuel says:

    I do not personally bring my kids to vaccination schedule always cause my wife does that. She is also very diligent with the vaccine schedule and the completeness of it. I think it is very important as well to get them all the protection they need in an early age.

  3. Thanks for this article. After the MMR scare in the UK there is a much higher incidence of measles in the UK than in the US- I think this proves just how important vaccinations can be. You can never be too careful.

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