More parents are refusing to vaccinate their children now than a decade ago, but the reasons for refusals have changed, a new study suggests. Parents who their kids are now more likely to say their reason is that they do not see a need for vaccination, the researchers found. Pediatricians should continue to talk to parents who have concerns about vaccines to try to, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In the study, researchers surveyed 627 pediatricians in 2013 and asked them whether their patients parents had ever refused a vaccination, or had asked to delay a vaccination. The researchers also asked pediatricians about their impressions of parents reasons for refusing or delaying their kids vaccination. The survey was a follow-up to an earlier one, with the same questions, conducted in 2006. [
The researchers found that in 2013, 87 percent of pediatricians surveyed said they encountered vaccine refusals from parents of their patients, up from 75 percent of pediatricians who said the same in 2006. This drop in what pediatricians perceive lines up with other research that has reported increasing rates of for nonmedical reasons, and increasing rates of children who are not receiving all or some of the vaccines they should receive for optimal health benefits, the researchers said in their study, published today (Aug. 29) in the journal Pediatrics. Pediatricians perceived that parents reasons for delaying vaccines were different from reasons that parents refused vaccinations altogether. For example, in the new survey, parents seemed to most commonly delay vaccination because they were concerned about their children s discomfort, and out of children s immune systems.
In contrast, parents who refused to vaccinate their kids more commonly did so because they considered vaccines unnecessary, the researchers found. The percentage of pediatricians who said they perceived that parents refused to vaccinate their kids because they increased by 10 percent from 2006 to 2013, the researchers found. However, parents concerns about the now-well-refuted link between vaccines and autism declined during this time period, from 74 percent of pediatricians who perceived it to be one of the top reasons for vaccine refusal among parents in 2006 to 64 percent in 2013. [ The 2006 survey was conducted just after the first human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was approved but before it was widely offered by pediatricians to patients, the researchers said. Although this vaccine has been shown to be effective against cervical cancer and other cancers, it has a lower acceptance rate than other vaccines. The increase in vaccine refusal rates observed in the study may be partially explained by the fact that the HPV vaccine was recommended around the time the second survey was conducted in 2013, and to use this vaccine for their kids. Still, the rise in the perceived rates of vaccine refusal and delay are likely more complex than a single vaccine, the researchers said. For example, pediatricians reported that, though some parents refused just one vaccine, others refused more than one vaccine, Hough-Telford said in a statement. One reason more parents may now think vaccines are unnecessary is that vaccine-preventable diseases are rare these days, and the public s memory of these diseases may be fading, Hough-Telford said.
However, since the data for the study was last collected in 2013, there have been a couple of, particularly one in California, she noted. I think that that has potentially changed some perceptions about immunizations but I think it needs to be studied further, she told Live Science. Originally published on Live Science. If you choose to delay some vaccines or reject some vaccines entirely, there can be risks. Please follow these steps to protect your child, your family, and others. With the decision to delay or reject vaccines comes an important responsibility that could save your childвs life, or the life of someone else. When you call 911, ride in an ambulance, visit a hospital emergency room, or visit your childвs doctor or any clinic. Tell the medical staff that your child has not received all of the vaccines recommended for his or her age. Keep a vaccination record easily accessible and share it with the clinician. When your child is being evaluated, the doctor will need to consider the possibility that your child has a vaccine-preventable disease (VPD); while uncommon, VPDs still occur. The people who help your child can take precautions, such as isolating your child, so that the disease does not spread to others. One group at high risk for contracting disease is infants, who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Other people are those with weaker immune systems, such as some people with cancer and transplant recipients. Talk to your childвs doctor or nurse to be sure your childвs medical record is up to date regarding vaccination status.
Inform your childвs school, childcare facility, and other caregivers about your childвs vaccination status. Be aware that your child can catch diseases from people who donвt have any symptoms. It may not be too late to get protection by getting vaccinated. Ask your childвs doctor. You may be asked to take your child out of school, daycare, or organized activities (for example, playgroups or sports). Be prepared to keep your child home for several days up to several weeks. Your school, childcare facility, or other institution will tell you when it is safe for an unvaccinated child to return. Learn about the disease and how it is spread. It may not be possible to avoid exposure. Talk with your childвs doctor or the health department to get their guidelines for determining when your child is no longer at risk of coming down with the disease. Learn the early signs and symptoms of the disease. Seek immediate medical help if your child or any family members develop early signs or symptoms of the disease. IMPORTANT: Notify the doctorвs office, urgent care facility, ambulance personnel, or emergency room staff that your child has not been fully vaccinated before medical staff have contact with your child or your family members. Follow recommendations to isolate your child from others, including family members, and especially infants and people with weakened immune systems. Most vaccine-preventable diseases can be very dangerous to infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated, or children who are not vaccinated due to certain medical conditions. Be aware that for some vaccine-preventable diseases, there are medicines to treat infected people and medicines to keep people they come in contact with from getting the disease.
Ask your health care professional about other ways to protect your family members and anyone else who may come into contact with your child. Your family may be contacted by the state or local health department who track infectious disease outbreaks in the community. Review the before traveling to learn about possible disease risks and vaccines that will protect your family. Vaccine preventable diseases remain common throughout the world, including Europe. Donвt spread disease to others. If an unimmunized person develops a vaccine-preventable disease while traveling, to prevent transmission to others, he or she should not travel by plane, train, or bus until a doctor determines the person is no longer contagious. Be aware. Any vaccine preventable disease can strike at any time in the U. S. ; all of these diseases still circulate either in the U. S. or elsewhere in the world. Sometimes vaccine-preventable diseases cause outbreaks (clusters of cases in a given area). Vaccine-preventable diseases that still circulate in the U. S. include: Whooping cough, chickenpox, Hib (a cause of meningitis), and influenza Vaccine-preventable diseases can range from mild to severe and life-threatening. In most cases, there is no way to know beforehand if a child will get a mild or serious case. For some diseases, one case is enough to cause concern in a community. An example of this is measles, which is one of the most contagious viral diseases known. The disease spreads quickly among people who are not immune.