A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that 28 percent of American parents who vaccinate their children according to the recommended schedule think it would be safer to delay the immunizations until their children are older.
The study also found that a growing number of parents are delaying the vaccines, following an alternative schedule, or declining certain vaccines, most often the seasonal flu vaccine, for their children. More than 1 in 10 parents currently use an alternative vaccination schedule, the study reports, and "a large proportion of parents currently following the recommended schedule seem to be 'at risk' for switching to an alternative schedule."
Pediatricians are aware of the parents' concerns over vaccines, but a growing number will not treat children whose parents refuse or delay vaccines, citing both the serious dangers of the diseases the children are being vaccinated against and a lack of evidence of extreme side effects from the vaccines themselves. CNN.com reports:
"There is a small group of pediatricians, and I think it's growing slowly, that tell patients, 'If you come into our practice, we are immunizing your children according to the CDC's and the American Academy of Pediatrics standard schedule,'" said Dr. William Schaffner, who chairs the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. "[They say] 'Anything less than that is not appropriate for your child. If you're uncomfortable with that, God bless you, here are the names of some other pediatricians in town who will likely take care of your children.'"
(image via: http://www.simplyparenting.com/articles/9)