93% of US parents trust vaccinations

19 Apr

“Celebrities have no expertise in childhood immunizations or infectious disease,” Freed said. “There is a danger in the media of putting up celebrities as experts on any topic for which they have an opinion, and giving them a platform to share their opinions that is presented as equal to true experts.”

In the first survey, published in the May issue of Pediatrics, researchers used data from a 2009 nationally representative sample of about 1,550 parents of children aged 17 and younger.

About 76 percent of parents said they trusted their child’s doctor “a lot,” 22 percent said they had “some” trust, while only 2 percent said they didn’t trust the doctor.

Parents also trusted other health-care providers and government vaccine experts, but not as much as doctors.

Two percent of parents said they trusted celebrities “a lot,” 24 percent said they trusted celebrities somewhat for vaccine information, and 74 percent said they trusted celebrities “not at all.” Women and Hispanics were more likely to trust celebrities.

A second survey by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the same journal used 2009 survey data from parents of children under the age of 6.

Nearly 75 percent of parents reported their youngest child had received all of the recommended vaccines; another 19 percent said their child would receive the vaccines.

About 79 percent of parents were either confident or very confident in vaccine safety, and about 80 percent said they thought vaccines were important for a child’s health.

But parents still have their concerns. About 22 percent somewhat or strongly agreed that they were concerned about “too many vaccines potentially damaging a child’s immune system,” according to the study.

When asked how many shots parents were comfortable with their child receiving in a single doctor’s visit, 42 percent said one to two; 34 percent said three to four; and 23 percent said “whatever the doctor recommends.”

The authors suggest that pediatricians listen to parents’ concerns and direct them to appropriate resources for information.

“It’s encouraging that in this survey the overwhelming majority said they will get all of their immunizations. That’s a wonderful thing,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, a professor of pediatrics at University of Alabama at Birmingham and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. “The noise out there that seems to question vaccine safety is increasingly being discounted and being discounted in a very public way.”

Source.

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