Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Some deviate from vaccine schedule

USA Today reports:
At a time when many infectious diseases are making a comeback, about 13% of parents are skipping or delaying their children's immunizations and following an "alternative" vaccination schedule that puts kids at serious risk, a new study says.

And many parents who follow their pediatricians' advice have doubts about vaccines' safety, according to a study in Monday's Pediatrics. For example, even among parents who fully vaccinate their children, 28% believe that an alternate schedule — which spaces out vaccines to avoid giving several shots at once — is safer, the study says.

Health officials are concerned about the trend. Unvaccinated people have fueled an outbreak of measles, which sickened nearly 200 people in the first eight months of this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The USA also has battled outbreaks of whooping cough and mumps in the past two years.

The study's results reflect widespread skepticism and confusion about vaccine safety, fueled partly by a 1998 study in The Lancet linking vaccines to autism that has since been revealed to be fraudulent, says Ari Brown, a doctor and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
No, the new study does not say that the kids are at risk. It says:
Conclusions: More than 1 of 10 parents of young children currently use an alternative vaccination schedule. In addition, a large proportion of parents currently following the recommended schedule seem to be “at risk” for switching to an alternative schedule.
The only "risk" here is that the parent might not follow orders and stick to the schedule, not that any kids are at a health risk.

These articles always make a point of saying that a 1998 study was fraudulent. Whether or not that study was fraudelent has nothing to do with the safety of the vaccines or the vaccine schedule.

As I read this, the pediatricians are whining that parents do not always do exactly as they are told, and sometimes make their own decisions. More than any other profession, pediatricians like to treat adults as children.

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