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Vaccine refusal trends.

The number of parents questioning the accepted vaccination schedule has been increasing in recent years. To document and quantitate this trend, researchers compared the answers of pediatricians to questions in the American Academy of Pediatrics Periodic Survey from 2006 and 2013 regarding immunizations. They reviewed and compared the answers in three areas: vaccine refusals and delays, parental reasons for refusal or delay, and physician dismissal for vaccination refusals or delays. (Questions about delays were only in the 2013 survey.)

The percentage of pediatricians reporting vaccination refusals increased from 74.5% to 87.0%. The number of parents refusing vaccinations due to the belief they have become unnecessary increased from 63.4% to 73.1%.

Seventy-five percent of the pediatricians reported that parents delayed vaccinations due to the discomfort they cause and 72.5% delayed vaccinations due to concerns of overburdening their child's immune system. The percentage of reporting physicians who dismissed patients for vaccination refusals increased from 6.1% in 2006 to 11.7% in 2013.

The increase in delays and refusals is troublesome and dangerous. The vaccination schedule is not something that should be taken lightly. There is a lot of science and research behind it. It's designed to provide maximum protection against the once common childhood diseases. Only ongoing vigilance and keeping immunization rates will prevent the illness and deaths from these once common diseases.

Pediatrics, 09/16

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Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 1, 2015
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