In other countries like England, the prevalence of “conscientious objectors” has dropped dramatically over the past two decades. But in the United States, the number of parents who cite concern for their child’s health as the reason they reject the recommended vaccinations — or have chosen not to vaccinate their children — have tripled in the past 20 years.
A recent survey by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, looked at just how many families claim that vaccinations might harm their children. The researchers found that among 24,234 of their parents, 2.2 percent of the parents believed that immunizations can cause developmental issues in children.
When the researchers made an exception for parents of children with medical conditions such as a heart condition, 3.5 percent of parents said that their child’s vaccine allergy was a serious risk to their child. Children with autism were singled out as the main exception to this rule, causing 3.3 percent of parents to declare that their child’s autism was related to vaccination.
It’s in these early years that anti-vaccination is most pronounced, the researchers warned. Medical evidence to the contrary are few and far between.
Vaccination rates are high in the United States, and measles has been in control for decades in the United States. As in the rest of the world, the reason is vaccines, but that doesn’t mean parents who don’t get their kids vaccinated aren’t doing so at their own peril.
This is also true for other nations, such as England. As recently as March, a study found that vaccine refusers outnumbered the doctor-convenient population by more than 60-to-one.
The same study showed that vaccination rates were seven percentage points lower in the county that combines two school districts. After 20 years of easy access to vaccinations in the first place, the resistance to vaccination is a veritable miracle.
In short, unless parents in the United States own their kids’ immunization situation, and respect the medical necessity of vaccines, they are out of luck.
And it is their children’s lives that are at stake.