Parents still delaying, skipping vaccines for children despite evidence

By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: January 31st, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Doctors and scientists agree: getting young children vaccinated is an important and necessary step to prevent disease. Despite the overwhelming evidence to support this statement, the results of a recent survey show that many parents are delaying or even skipping vaccinations for their kids.

The study, performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that one out of 10 parents is not following the recommended vaccination schedule. While only 2 percent of the respondents refused all vaccinations for their child, many said they didn’t trust the recommended schedule, and 13 percent said they purposely delayed or skipped vaccines.

Even parents who did follow the recommended schedule expressed skepticism. Twenty-five percent said they believed delaying vaccines cut down on harmful side effects. Twenty-nine percent said parents could skip some vaccinations because they weren’t really necessary.

For the study, researchers from the CDC surveyed 748 families with children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years about their vaccine choices, education, income and demographics.

The results also showed that many parents were not aware of the risks posed by delaying or skipping vaccinations. For example, 81 percent of the parents who reported skipping or delaying vaccinations said they did not agree with the statement that leaving children unvaccinated leaves them and their community at a higher risk for disease.

Vaccine distrust has now become so commonplace that the American Academy of Pediatrics has drafted an official response for doctors to use with their patients’ parents.

While this skepticism likely isn’t going away any time soon, health experts are urging parents to get educated about the facts regarding this controversial issue. You can read all about vaccines on the CDC’s Website,