25% Infants Do Not Receive Vaccinations On Recommended Schedule

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Louise-Anne McNutt, PhD Associate Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany, State University of New YorkLouise-Anne McNutt, PhD
Associate Director, Institute for Health and the Environment
University at Albany, State University of New York

Jessica Nadeau, PhD Epidemiologist, University at Albany, State University of New YorkJessica Nadeau, PhD
Epidemiologist, University at Albany, State University of New York

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?


Response:
The study found that about 25% of infants consistently deviated from the routine vaccine schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Alterations included either consistently refusing a recommended vaccine or reducing the number of vaccines given at each visit.

These deviations are generally associated with intent to use an alternative vaccination schedule.

Infants who did not follow the AAP recommended schedule were more likely to be unprotected against vaccine preventable diseases for a longer period of time. Only 1 in10 infants vaccinated on an alternative schedule were up-to-date at 9 months of age.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Response: We were surprised that 1 in 4 infants were not following the AAP recommended schedule. Also, most infants were not following published alternative schedules but appeared to have a more individualize plan.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Complete series vaccine coverage in infants is critically low! Clinicians and parents need to work together to protect children.

There is no evidence that the alternative vaccine schedules benefit children. Deviating from the routine schedule at critical early vaccination visits leaves infants vulnerable.  There is evidence that unprotected children are more likely to develop vaccine preventable diseases.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our study highlights the immediate need to actively improve vaccination rates.

Combining our results with published literature is valuable when making recommendations. Clinicians have an important role in improving vaccine coverage. Dr. Douglas Opel and colleagues at the University of Washington found that how clinicians speak to parents impact vaccination rates. Clinicians who used direct language (eg, “it’s time for a vaccine”) were more successful in vaccinating than those who introduced a discussion about vaccination (eg, “what do you want to do?”).

Citation:

Citation: Nadeau et al. Vaccinating My Way—Use of Alternative Vaccination Schedules in New York State. J Pediatrics – 20 October 2014 (10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.09.013) (online ahead of print).

 

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