The Grapevine

Are Vaccines Necessary? Pediatricians Say ‘Yes,’ But More Parents Believe Otherwise

Vaccines currently prevent more than 2.5 million deaths worldwide every year and have helped eradicate diseases over the past 60 years, according to DoSomething.org. Despite this evidence, more parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated, simply because they don't see the point of vaccines.

In 2013, about 87 percent of pediatricians said they’d encountered vaccine refusals, according to a survey. This is a significant increase from 2006, when 75 percent of doctors reported refusals. The survey results were recently published in the Aug. 29 edition of the journal Pediatrics, according to HealthDay. 

Vaccination More and more parents think vaccines are unnecessary. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

"Vaccination is not just about you and your kid," Dr. Claire McCarthy, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told U.S. News. "It's about your neighbor's newborn. It's about your grandmother. It's about the kid at school who can't receive a vaccine because he's on chemotherapy."So, why are more and more parents saying ‘no’ to vaccinating their kids? The most common reason, provided by three out of every four parents, is that they’re unnecessary because the diseases they prevent have been wiped out in the U.S.

"Because these diseases are gone, people no longer fear them, even though many of them are only a plane ride away," said Dr. Kathryn Edwards, co-author of a new American Academy of Pediatrics report, which the survey was based on."They don't seem to realize that these diseases do exist in other places, and could come here."Additionally, according to pediatricians, the reasons that parents refuse vaccines have evolved in recent years. In 2006, about 75 percent of parents who refused vaccines said ‘no’ because they believed that they could cause autism or produce serious side effects. This theory has officially been debunked."This is very frightening to us as pediatricians because in this global world, their child absolutely could get polio," McCarthy said. "Polio is endemic in many parts of the world, and all we need is for one of those people to come on over to the United States and hang out in a shopping mall or Disney World."

Read more:

History Of Autism And Vaccines: How One Man Unraveled The World’s Faith In Vaccinations

Anti-Vaxxers May Have Caused The Largest Measles Outbreak This Year; Health Officials To Declare State Of Emergency

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