Vaccination Refusal and Parental Education: Lessons Learnt and Future Challenges

Robert M Jacobson

Disclosures

Pediatr Health. 2010;4(3):239-242. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Introduction

Clinicians face a Sisyphean task when educating parents regarding vaccinations. The success of vaccinations has paradoxically made their need less apparent while the expansion in type and variety has resulted in the frequent necessity of multiple simultaneous doses. More often than not, the clinician is often catching up the child with vaccines due. Meanwhile, wary parents hesitate, seeking more information than their predecessors and often finding misinformation from media and internet, misinformation often purposely propagated by those who suspect conspiracy and hold the medical profession in contempt.

The harms of vaccination refusal are real. Outbreaks resulting from vaccine refusal have been documented in otherwise well-vaccinated populations. Those who refuse put both their children and others at grave risk.[1–4]

Let us consider studies of parental attitudes conducted so far and put the lessons learned to address the challenges ahead. These challenges are not simply the growth in consumerism in medicine and in distrust of government, big business and healthcare. With new vaccines anticipated to join current ones on the schedule, parental education needs are multiplying.

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