A study released in the March 1, 2010 issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ official journal, Pediatrics, showed that 1 in 4 parents believe there is a link between vaccines and autism. The study also showed that nearly one in eight parents have refused at least one recommended vaccine in the past.
In this study, 2521 online surveys were electronically sent to a nationally representative sample of parents of children who were less than 17 years of age. The responses and opinions of the parents were recorded on the subject of vaccinations. From these surveys, 62% responded and were included in the study.
One of the most telling statistics obtained from this study was that 54% of all respondents expressed concerns regarding serious adverse effects from vaccinations. Additionally, 11.5% of the parents in this study had refused at least 1 recommended vaccine for their child. According to the study, the vaccine that parents were most likely to reject was the HPV vaccine, designed for human papillomavirus for cervical cancer.
Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, (NVIC), commented on the study by saying, “I am not surprised by these survey results because, since 1982, most parents contacting the National Vaccine Information Center tell us they want to trust what their doctors tell them about vaccination. Mothers and fathers depend upon their doctors to give them good advice; but when the health of their child or a child they know deteriorates after vaccination, parents logically start to ask questions. And when they are belittled or even threatened for asking those questions, the relationship between doctor and parent is never the same again.”
The NVIC is a consumer organization that disseminates information on vaccinations and gives the parents of vaccine injured children a resource to offer help and guidance. Ms. Loe Fisher added some interesting vaccine facts and summed up the sentiment expressed by the results of the Pediatrics survey by saying, “More and more Americans are becoming painfully aware that their medical bills, taxes, and health insurance premiums are going up because, today, 1 in 6 highly vaccinated child in America is learning disabled; 1 in 9 has asthma; 1 in 100 develops autism; 1 in 450 becomes diabetic and 7 in 1,000 babies born alive are dying before their first birthday. With 69 doses of 16 vaccines being given to children from birth through age 18, and hundreds of new vaccines being developed to prevent infectious disease while trillions of dollars are being spent to treat chronic disease, is it any wonder more parents are asking more questions about vaccine safety?”