Vaccines: Parents Delaying and Skipping

An increasing number of parents are delaying or skipping the vaccines recommended for their children. Despite the advice of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals, many parents choose to follow a different vaccine schedule, or skip vaccines, due to safety concerns.

With so many unanswered questions about vaccines, and the on-going vaccine-autism debate, many parents have decided to delay vaccines until their children are older or completely skip vaccines. A national survey indicated that more than 10% of parents do not follow the recommended vaccine schedule.

Vaccines do have side effects that could be serious or even life-threatening. Some children may have allergic reactions to the ingredients or experience other unexpected side-effects. There is also the possible link between children’s vaccines and conditions such as autism and learning disabilities. A number of parents already hold the vaccine industry responsible for the development of autism in their young children. According to the study, many parents do not trust the vaccine schedule. They believe that there are simply too many vaccines being given to babies and toddlers, and that some of the vaccines are unnecessary.

However, doctors and researchers believe that delaying or skipping vaccines is not the best option. They fear that as more parents skip vaccines, there is a possibility of vaccine preventable diseases becoming more common in the future, putting more people at risk. Moreover, most doctors assert that vaccines are safe and that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that pediatricians continue to work with the parents who choose to delay or skip certain vaccines; if doctors put pressure on parents to follow the schedule they are likely to lose those families and possibly create more distrust. To make matters worse, the Supreme Court has given pharmaceutical companies liability protection from vaccine injuries and deaths that result from government mandated vaccines.

The debate about the safety and necessity of vaccines is likely to continue for years to come. Parents have the responsibility of making the choice that they believe is best for their children. Every child is different and sometimes it is best for parents to listen to their intuition.

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