A new study just published in the health journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that a troubling practice is on the rise: vaccine refusal. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics work together to create a schedule of recommended vaccinations for children from birth to adulthood, and, according to the new survey, more and more parents are disregarding that advice despite the fact that vaccines are safe and life-saving.
The study examined routine pediatrician survey data from the years 2006 through 2013 to see if doctors have reported parents refusing vaccines for their children for non-medical reasons. Over the course of the period, the number of pediatricians who reported experiencing refusals rose from 74.5 percent to 87 percent. The steep rise was also accompanied by an uptick in doctors reporting parents asking about “delaying” vaccines, a scientifically unproven technique of spacing vaccines out in a pattern different from the CDC recommendation.
Why are more parents refusing to vaccinate their children? Who would deny their child a polio or whooping cough vaccine, when all the evidence points to the fact that they work and that unvaccinated children are far more likely to die if they happen to come in contact with one of those diseases?
Reports suggest that parents increasingly believe that vaccines are either harmful or unnecessary, and that our immune systems are capable of fending off such ailments without the aid of vaccines. These beliefs are incorrect, and the study found that 61 percent of pediatricians reported dismissing patients for continued vaccine refusal. The report concludes that pediatricians increasingly believe that parents don’t think vaccines are a necessary part of a child’s medical care, and that they’re refusing to treat these patients at higher rates than in the past. Guess it’s not just other parents who are fed up with the anti-vaxxers.