Many American Parents Skipping Kids’ Vaccination
More than 10% of US parents are skipping vaccination for their kids, reveals a new survey. The researchers say this is worrying as it can lead to spreading of diseases like whooping cough and measles in communities and schools. They say vaccination has been so effective that parents have forgotten the dangers of experiencing these diseases. The researchers say the dangers of not vaccinating are very real as the diseases have not been eradicated.
The CDC’s vaccination schedule for children below six includes MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shots and other vaccines against seasonal flu, hepatitis, chicken pox and whooping cough, among others. In the survey of 748 parents, 13% revealed they use a different vaccination schedule from that of the CDC. Some parents refused to vaccinate their kids or delayed it till it was “safer”. Two percent of the parents refused point-blank to vaccinate their kids. These findings were published in Pediatrics journal.
Many other parents said the CDC schedule was not ideal and opined delaying vaccination is safer. The researchers say these findings may just be the tip of the iceberg. Parents cited safety reasons for skipping or delaying vaccines. But, this increases the risk of disease for the kids. Health experts say the parents who refuse vaccines live in clustered areas, which increases the risk of local disease outbreaks, endangering even those kids who have received vaccination.
Spike in Whooping Cough and Measles
Non-vaccination by certain groups dilutes “herd immunity” by which protected kids prevent the spread of a disease. Thus, others’ behavior also impacts whether your child contracts an infectious disease. Vaccine refusal has already raised the risk of the spread of whooping cough. There has also been a spike in measles cases. Health experts say the risk of non-vaccination is far greater than the safety concerns about too early vaccination.