Parents can be tough to handle, even at the doctor’s office. Increasingly, doctors face pressure from parents to spread out vaccines given to their children. This is even while the doctor believes it places the child in danger of contracting measles, or another preventable disease.
According to a University of Colorado study, 90 percent of doctors have received requests from parents to delay vaccinations. Out of that poll, three-quarters have agreed to some form of a delay against their better medical judgement.
The why in this ranges. Some don’t want the parents to start doctor shopping, leaving their practice. Others are simply trying to be nice to the parents and easing them into the vaccines. Doctors have to wade through the Internet now, with pitfalls of Internet forums, social media and the rise of the Internet MD – the parent that thinks they know more than medical school training.
According to the CDC, US children are vaccinated against 14 illness, including the flu, from birth and six years.
Speaking to Bloomberg, lead study author Allison Kempe, a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, explainer her team’s findings. “They feel torn. They feel both the desire to have an alliance with the family but also they feel strongly about the medical and scientific reasons for immunizing.”
According to recent studies, as many as 13 percent of children receive vaccinations on a delayed schedule. Reasonings vary from the completely debunked autism connection, concern over too many vaccines will weaken an immune system and a belief the disease isn’t dangerous.
Decades of research has established the safety of the childhood vaccination schedule, but the Internet has given a platform for debunked science. The autism link has long-been refuted but remains a sticking point.
Mark Sawyer, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics puts it best.
“There’s no science at all that vaccines are more harmful than the diseases they prevent,” Sawyer said. “If people can embrace that, then the natural conclusion is people go ahead and get vaccinated.”
More Education Needed
What has people shaking their head is the need for more education on this subject. Decades of children getting vaccinations is being undone by conspiracy theories propagating the Internet.
Even with the outbreak of measles, anti-vaccine movements are fielding calls of parents who are being rejected by their doctors for asking for a delay.
Yes, even in the face of a measles outbreak, they do not want their kid to have the vaccine. I understand if your kid has a medical reason to not have it. There are waivers in place, and your doctor will readily handle those cases.
Doctors are increasingly turning to the news to help dampen fears of parents, and telling them they have their own kids vaccinated.
More can be done before one of the outbreaks spirals out of control. Do we need to see victims popping up on the news before we take this seriously?