Via STAT: Most pediatricians say parents have refused vaccines for their kids. Excerpt:
More doctors are reporting encounters with parents refusing to vaccinate their kids than a decade ago, but parents’ reasons for skipping immunizations have shifted in the past decade.
A new survey published in Pediatrics on Monday reports that 87 percent of pediatricians in the United States say they encountered parents refusing to vaccinate their children in 2013. A decade earlier, 75 percent of doctors reported they had experienced vaccine refusals.
The most common reason parents gave, according to doctors? The vaccines weren’t necessary.
“Vaccines have been so good at taking diseases away that when we don’t see diseases, we don’t think they’re important,” said Dr. Kathryn Edwards, a pediatrician and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program.
It’s the paradox of vaccines — they do away with infectious diseases to the point that they no longer seem necessary. The uptick in parents feeling that vaccines aren’t needed is concerning, Edwards said. Recent outbreaks of diseases such as measles and mumps have been blamed on a decline in vaccination rates.
“If you have a four-way stop and everybody stops at the stop sign, we’re fine. If one person doesn’t stop, we’re fine,” Edwards explained. “But if more people aren’t stopping, we’re going to have an accident.”