ANTI-VACCINATORS TOLD TO SEEK HEALTH CARE ELSEWHERE
THE American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging pediatricians to tell families who refuse to vaccinate children, to take their business elsewhere.
“Parents, pediatricians and policy-makers all have a role in protecting children from diseases such as measles and whooping cough,” said Benard Dreyer, president of the academy, which is taking a stronger position on this issue than ever before.
“No child should have to suffer through a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine.”
In an effort to address the anti-vaccine trend, the academy issued a new policy statement this week opposing all nonmedical exemptions for vaccines. If, after counselling, skeptical parents still choose to opt out, doctors may request “that they seek care elsewhere.”
Anxiety about immunizations has increased in recent years. Of about 630 pediatricians polled in a 2013 survey, 87 per cent had encountered vaccine refusal, up from 75 per cent in 2006. Top concerns include: the child’s pain, too many injections at a single visit — causing some parents to delay rather than refuse vaccines — and a fear of autism. Many have a mistrust of health-care professionals.