HealthDay News — According to a new survey published in Pediatrics on August 29, 2016, the number of pediatricians who have encountered vaccine refusals from parents had increased from 74.5% in 2006 to 87.0% in 2013.
The most common reason for refusal, provided by 3 out of every 4 parents: Vaccines are unnecessary because the diseases they prevent have been wiped out in the United States. The percentage of pediatricians who always dismiss patients over repeated vaccine refusals has also increased, doubling from 6.1% in 2006 to 11.7% in 2013.
The report urges pediatricians to listen to parents patiently, address concerns, and correct misconceptions; explain that vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness; present all vaccinations as required rather than optional; and personalize the positive message about vaccines.
In a separate policy statement published in Pediatrics alongside the survey, the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommended eliminating non-medical exemptions to school-required immunizations.
Hough-Telford C, Kimberlin D, Aban I, Hitchcock W, Almquist J, Kratz R, O’Conner K. Vaccine Delays, Refusals, and Patient Dismissals: A Survey of Pediatricians. Pediatrics. 2016 Aug 29. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-2127.
Edwards K, Hackell J, Committee on Infectious Diseases, Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine. Countering Vaccine Hesitancy. Pediatrics. 2016 Aug 29. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2146.
Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Committee on Infectious Diseases, Committee on State Government Affairs, Council on School Health, Section on Administration and Practice Management. Medical Versus Nonmedical Immunization Exemptions For Child Care And School Attendance. Pediatrics. 2016 Aug 29. 138.3: e20162145-e20162145. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2145.