Increasing Number of Parents Opting for Alternate Vaccination Schedule
An alarming number of parents are showing a growing mistrust for the official vaccination schedule which has been developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even among the parents who follow the recommended schedule, 28% believe in delaying the vaccines to prevent their side effects and 29% skip vaccines which they find unnecessary. These alarming findings have come out in a study which has been published in today’s issue of the journal “Pediatrics.”
The study, which was led by Dr. Amanda Dempsey, was an internet based survey of a nationally representative sample of parents of children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years. A total of 748 families were surveyed about the common facts, fears and assumptions about childhood vaccines. More than one of ten parents of young children opts for an alternate vaccination schedule. Of these, 17% reported refusing all the vaccines. 53% refused certain vaccines while 55% delayed certain vaccines until the child was older. Of all the parents who opt for an alternate vaccination schedule, 30% initial stick to the recommended vaccine program. But later, they switch sides as they develop distrust for the official schedule. 81% of parents who skipped or delayed vaccines did not realize that this can put the child as well as their community to increased risk for developing the disease.
The report has got the clinicians worried. According to Dr. Paul Offit, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, the parents who believe that they can prevent the side effects of vaccines by delaying them are just misinformed. Delaying the vaccines has no role in preventing side effects. Parents take these decisions as they carry certain myths on contagious diseases and their transmission. The official vaccine schedule has been chalked out after considering data from multiple clinical trials for vaccines. However, the researchers of the study feel that it is difficult to change the attitude of people and the problem of skipping vaccines is likely to continue.