According to a new study, some doctors refuse to treat unvaccinated children, for a variety of reasons.
This new study was published online yesterday, November 2nd, in Pediatrics. It was led by Sean O’Leary from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado, Aurora. The response rate for the survey they conducted from June to October 2012 was of 66 per cent.
Out of this, 83 percent responded that, in a typical month, one per cent or more of parents refused a vaccine. More than a quarter of the respondents said that 5 per cent of parents refuse such treatment. The other way round, 21 per cent of pediatricians and 4 per cent of the family physicians refuse to treat those children who have been denied certain vaccines.
However, the authors of the study say the results are indeed influenced by different factors, such as the region where the doctor comes from, practice setting and whether or not the state allows for philosophical exemptions. This means that the pediatricians who dismissed most children for not having been vaccinated were most likely in private practice, located in the South and in a state that did not allow for philosophical exemptions.
Apart from this, the study also shows that pediatricians and family physicians usually ask parents who have refused a vaccine or another for their child, to sign a waiver form, stating that they did indeed refuse the vaccine. This is, of course, a measure of precaution doctors take in order to protect themselves against unwanted lawsuits. 64 per cent of all doctors do this.
Also, 55 per cent of them admit to address the vaccine problem during prenatal visits, as a response to vaccine refusal and 36 per cent of them advise parents to inform on call about their child’s immunity status.
The reasons for which parents refuse to vaccinate their children are many. It might be because they don’t trust the medical profession enough, conspiracy theories or because they choose to believe what they read on the internet and on social media networks rather than to trust their doctor.
Children vaccination is a source of continuous debate. However that may be, one thing is sure. Children are getting sicker and sicker because they are denied certain vaccines that are possible life savers. For example, 2014 was a record year for measles, simply because parents refused to vaccinate their children against it.
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