According to a new survey conducted in Colorado, the state with the most children who haven’t been vaccinated, doctors accept parents’ refusal of vaccination in order to build trust. The survey also shows that there is a need for more evidence based arguments when trying to convince parent to let their children get the vaccine.
Most of the surveyed doctors said they comply with parents’ requests for delaying vaccines. The motive behind this it that they are trying to gain the trust of those families. Doctors are accepting this although they consider this decision to have more downsides than benefits. Prolonging the period during which children remain unvaccinated increases the risk of them contacting various illnesses.
The study was published just as the frequency of measles outbreaks in the U.S. grows. The virus causes one of the most contagious diseases known to medicine. There are 20 million people who catch this disease each year. Out of those people, 146,000 die.
Due to the implemented measles vaccine, the occurrence of this disease in America was reduced by 99%, nearly eradicating measles. In 2008, however, the number of measles cases started growing.
Due to rumors that vaccinations can cause autism, parents became skeptic and started thinking twice before accepting this preventive treatment.
Both primary and family medicine doctors (meaning more than 500 U.S. physicians) participated in the survey. Results showed that about 42% of them consider that one of the causes behind parents refusing vaccines is the fear of their children developing autism. As many as 63% agreed that another cause is related to the fear of “long-term complications”.
Most doctors (93%) said that parents of young patients (younger than two years old) come to them asking to delay the vaccinations date. And even though 87% of doctors considered the parents were making a wrong decision and 84% said it would be more painful for the tiny patients, they still accept the request.
Doctors say parents should not consider their children too sensitive as their bodies can handle the vaccine better than they’d expect. The recommended age for the first measles vaccine in children is about one year. The booster dose should be administered when the child is between 4 and 6 years old.
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