Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Doctors Often Yield to Parents' Requests to Delay Kids' Vaccines


But most believe it puts children at risk, study finds

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors commonly get requests from parents to delay young children's vaccinations -- and despite their better judgment, they often give in, a new U.S. study finds.

In a national survey of pediatricians and family doctors, researchers found that 93 percent said they handled such requests in a typical month. One-fifth said that at least 10 percent of parents they see want to postpone some vaccinations.

And while most doctors believe that veering from the recommended vaccine schedule is risky, they often agree to parents' wishes.

The findings, published online March 2 in Pediatrics, come at a time of rising concerns about "under-vaccination."

Measles -- a childhood disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 -- is staging a comeback. So far this year, outbreaks have hit 17 states and Washington, D.C., sickening at least 154 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The main outbreak was traced to Disneyland, in California. The CDC said it probably began with an unvaccinated traveler who became infected in another country before visiting the amusement park. But that person has not been identified.

Such "imported" measles cases can spread when people in the community have not been vaccinated. One issue is that some parents choose not to vaccinate their children at all, for religious reasons or personal beliefs -- often related to unfounded fears over vaccine safety, doctors say.

But few parents actually go that route, said Dr. Allison Kempe, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital Colorado, who led the new study.

More often, she said, they ask to postpone certain shots, and "spread out" their child's vaccinations over a longer period.

Under the current vaccination schedule recommended by the CDC and other groups, a child gets up to 25 shots in the first two years of life, including multiple shots in one doctor visit.

Some parents fear that it's "too many, too soon," because they've heard that all those jabs "overwhelm" a baby's immune system, said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

source : Doctors Often Yield to Parents' Requests to Delay Kids' Vaccines

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