A national study measuring parental attitudes toward vaccinations found 6.1% were hesitant about routine childhood immunizations while nearly 26% were hesitant about the influenza vaccine.
“Our study provides the first national estimates of hesitancy about routine childhood and influenza vaccination among representative samples of U.S. parents of children, using a scale specifically developed and validated to assess vaccine hesitancy internationally,” said the study’s lead author Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of ACCORDS which brings together investigators from across CU Anschutz Medical Campus to conduct research for real world impact.
The study was published today in the journal Pediatrics.
The investigators surveyed 2,176 parents and found 12% strongly agreed and 27% somewhat agreed they had concerns over serious side effects of both routine childhood and influenza vaccines. In contrast, 70% strongly agreed that routine vaccinations were effective versus only 26% for the influenza vaccine.
The researchers found those with less than a bachelor’s degree more skeptical of vaccinations. Race and ethnicity didn’t play a major role in these attitudes but Latino parents were less hesitant than white, non-Latino parents about getting vaccinated against influenza.
“The fact that one in eight parents are still concerned about vaccine safety for both childhood and influenza vaccinations is discouraging,” said Kempe who practices at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “But what is driving the hesitancy about the influenza vaccine is primarily doubts about its effectiveness.”
In fact, the vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing influenza but, even in a year where there is not a good match between circulating strains and the vaccine, Kempe said it lessens the severity of the illness which kills between 10,000 and 60,000 Americans annually….
It’s disturbing how many parents are still delegating their child’s welfare to systemic medical corruption and that “education” is so closely related to blind trust. In any case, the correct term is “refusal” not “hesitancy”, but they can’t utter that word without raising the notion of informed consent, which is becoming increasingly antiquated.