A third, and potentially the greatest, reason parents express for refusing vaccinations for their children are concerns about the safety of vaccines. Most of these concerns are based on information these parents have discovered in the media or received from acquaintances. Regardless of whether the stories stem from television, the Internet, radio, or from family and friends, parents are constantly bombarded with other peoples\’ opinions about vaccinations. ,
All of this information can be overwhelming for some parents to sift through, making it difficult for them to make their own well-informed decision. , Many of the reports and opinions that bombard parents and cause uncertainty are targeted at the safety of vaccines. They raise doubts about both short-term adverse reactions and the possibility of long-lasting negative effects. , It is these concerns about safety that can cause parents to completely refuse vaccines. found that the most commonly reported reason parents had for refusing one or more vaccines was other people or media reports. Stories in the popular media, such as social media and large-scale news outlets, are often sensationalized to elicit higher ratings and oftentimes spotlight a rare incident in which a child suffers as a result of an unforeseen side effect of a vaccine. Media that cite problems with components of vaccines (such as thimerosal) and report that vaccines can cause autism, brain damage, or behavioral problems cause parents to be more cautious and have more concerns regarding the safety of vaccines. , Thimerosal, however, has been removed from those vaccines intended for children under 6 years of age for over a decade now. Accounts noting these rare occurrences breed fear in the hearts and minds of parents, who overestimate the dangers associated with vaccinations. Some fearful parents balk at the timing of immunizations.
Fear can influence some parents to choose to delay vaccines so their child does not receive more than one vaccine at a time. They fear that simultaneously administering multiple vaccines may overload their child\’s immune system, and they think that allowing all of the vaccinations to occur according to the recommended schedule will make the safety risk greater. As a result of this logic, many choose to delay vaccines in order to better protect their children. , While some may view this as a missed opportunity, others believe that a delayed vaccination schedule is superior to not receiving vaccinations at all. Many parents believe the side effects of vaccines are more extensive than what they are told by their physicians and that the risks outweigh the benefits of vaccinating their children. , Healthy relationships between a practitioner and parent can go a long way toward helping patients in terms of this concern. Trust is paramount and will help put parents at ease and help them overcome unmerited fears. 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.