There has been much controversy lately surrounding vaccines. Many parents have elected not to have their children vaccinated. New research asks, are doctors vaccinating children too early?

CBS news reports on the findings.

Parents across the country have decided to delay their childrens’ vaccinations or not vaccinate them at all given the new information. Some experts say that the vaccines may not be helpful while others say that they are important and parents are exposing their children to diseases by not having their children get them.

Experts did a survey of what practices are best for your child.

The results are in a national survey of pediatricians and family physicians who were asked about parents wanting to delay some of the many vaccinations recommended for children younger than age 2 and what the outcomes were for those children.

Most of the doctors said that at least some parents had asked for vaccine delays in a typical month; and 1 in 4 said those numbers had gone up since the year before. The survey was published in Pediatrics.

How was the study conducted?

The researchers surveyed 534 physicians.

“Participants were doctors who are members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians - the two leading groups of doctors who treat young children. One in 5 doctors said at least 10 percent of parents had requested vaccine delays by spreading them out over more months than is recommended,” according to CBS news.

Some doctors said the practice puts kids at risk for getting vaccine-preventable diseases and might lead to certain diseases; however many physicians also said they sometimes agreed to the delays. Only around 3 percent said they usually or always tell parents who insist on vaccine delays to look for care from another physician.

What are the concerns?

An expert in the field, Dr. Allison Kempe, a University of Colorado researcher and a member of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory committee, commented on the study and is the lead author.

She said, “The potential repercussions are worrisome and are happening right now with the measles outbreak. Most cases are tied to an outbreak at Disneyland in California, which likely began with a traveler who brought it in, as has been the case in other U.S. outbreaks. The exact source of the Disneyland-linked cases is not known.”

What are the vaccine recommendations right now?

Currently, vaccinations against 14 diseases are recommended for children who are younger than the age of two, this starts at birth and is given every few months. Some vaccinations mix vaccines against more than one disease. For example, the measles vaccination also protects against mumps and German measles. Despite that, many young children may get five shots at once under the recommended vaccination plan.

Many people have various concerns about the vaccines. CBS explains,

“Some parents want to delay shots by spacing them out, partly to spare their kids from getting jabbed so many times at one sitting. Doctors surveyed said other reasons include worries about possible long-term complications and other risks from vaccines, which medical experts say are unfounded. The study didn't ask doctors which vaccines parents asked to delay.”


Gerry Oginski
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