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Delaying Vaccinations Is Still On The Rise

Dorathy Gass

Among the recent Disneyland Measles outbreak and vaccination controversy plaguing the nation, according to a study parents continue to postpone vaccinations for their young children – and in fact, vaccination delay is increasing. A recent survey questioned pediatricians and family doctors across the U.S. about parents who request delays in the recommended vaccination schedule for kids aged two or younger. Almost all the doctors surveyed reveal some parents were still requesting a postponement of vaccines within an average month; with 25 percent of those physicians saying the numbers have risen from last year.

In 2012, study researchers interviewed 534 doctors who were also members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. 20 percent of the doctors surveyed revealed that 10 percent of parents asked to delay vaccine shots for their children, wanting vaccinations done at a later date. The doctors added that this idea increases the risks of children contracting vaccine-preventable diseases, and could lead to additional outbreaks. However, of those surveyed, most replied that they agreed to these delays at times; with 3 percent saying they would often or always insist that those who requested vaccine delays find another doctor.

The reasoning behind postponing a child’s vaccinations varies from parent to parent. Some simply want to provide a relief to their children, and avoid multiple shots in one visit. Others worry about future health issues or risks that some have speculated are associated with vaccines; even though there is no concrete medical evidence supporting these ideas.

Recommended vaccine schedules have been created through research according to the age of a child, and effective timing for preventing illnesses. Therefore, postponing shots that should be given at a specific age can make them less effective. Delays may also result in a child simply not getting vaccinated at all, as parents become preoccupied with other issues and forget to book another appointment. This essentially increases a child’s risks of getting a vaccine-preventable disease, and passing it on to another child who may not be vaccinated; ultimately causing an outbreak.

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