Vaccine Delays, Refusals, and Patient Dismissals

VaccineDelays, Refusals, and Patient Dismissals

Thisjournal is prepared by Catherine Hough-Telford, MD, to illustrate thesignificance of the delay and refusals of the number of unvaccinatedchildren in America. It is a proven fact that vaccines have played animportant part in saving the children`s lives in America and all overthe world. Through vaccinations, the county has experienced highrates of children immunization, and “policies mandating childhoodimmunizations have led to high US immunization rates and the nearelimination of most vaccine-preventable diseases” (Hough-Telford etal. 2). There has been recorded that the number of parentalacceptance towards vaccination has been decreasing. This has beenattributed to the change in attitude and perception of the parents onthe importance of vaccines. Educating the parents has increased thelikelihood that the parents will allow their children to bevaccinated (page 2).

TheAmerican Academy of Pediatrics had the interest to determine thelevel of influence of the pediatrics who interact with the children.A study was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics throughthe use of a survey that was to identify the pediatrician`sexperience with requests from parents for vaccine refusals anddelays. It was noted that “The AAP has assessed the extent ofvaccine hesitancy experienced by its members through its PeriodicSurveys” (Hough-Telford et al. 2). Catherine Hough-Telford, MD, andher team also studied the extent to which the pediatrician`s practicewas affected by the vaccine refusal through patient dismissal andeducating the parents (page 2).

Thedata Catherine Hough-Telford, MD and her team used was obtained froma survey done between 2006 and 2013 by the APP Periodic Survey ofFellows. It was important that “periodic Surveys are conducted 3 or4 times per year by the AAP on various topics of importance topediatricians” (Hough-Telford et al. 3). The study used a randomsampling of participants, and the content was approved by the APPInstitutional Review Board. In 2006, the survey was sent to a totalof 1620 APP registered members, while in 2013, the survey was sent toa total of 1622 APP registered members. In both surveys, both patientdismissals and vaccine refusals, demographic information, andpractice characteristics were collected. The participatingpediatricians were inquired whether they experienced vaccine refusalfrom patients and parents rejecting various or all vaccines they weresupposed to administer. They were to submit information that includedreasons why parents, and patients refused vaccination, how many timesit happened, and the period it would take for the patient to acceptto take the vaccine. The survey that was done in 2013 particularlycontained questions about any experience with vaccine delays (page3).

Theresults from the 2006 survey received a feedback rate of 52.6percent, while the 2013 survey received a feedback rate of 52.7percent. All pediatricians who did not directly participate inoffering immunization or patient care were excluded. Most of thepediatricians explained that they “experiencing parental requeststo delay ≥1 vaccine in the preceding 12 months” (Hough-Telford etal. 3). The pediatricians noted that the parents sought for the delayof vaccination due to the concerns of their children’s discomfortand adverse effects of their children’s immune system (page 3).

Nearlyall of the pediatricians experienced numerous parents questioning theimportance to follow the stipulated vaccine schedule. The number ofparents refusing vaccines parents who “almost doubled between 2006and 2013, and they described that nearly 1 in 5 parents in theirpractice requested to delay ≥1 vaccines” (Hough-Telford et al.6). The pediatricians could only convince about 33 percent ofrefusing parents to change their minds through educating them. In theend, it was reported that the number of vaccine refusals increased inthe period between the first survey in 2006 and the second survey in2013. It was also noted that the parents had different reasons forrefusing and delaying vaccine administration (page 6).


Hough-Telford,C., et al. &quot: ASurvey of Pediatricians.&quot&nbspPEDIATRICS,vol.&nbsp138, no.&nbsp3, 3&nbspSept.&nbsp2016, pp.&nbsp1-11, 3&nbspNov.&nbsp2016.