(HealthDay News) — In a survey conducted in 2013, 87.0% of pediatricians said they had encountered vaccine refusals, an increase from the 74.5% who reported refusals during the last survey in 2006. The new survey results were published online August 29 in Pediatrics.
The most common reason for refusal, provided by three out of every four parents: Vaccines are unnecessary because the diseases they prevent have been wiped out in the United States. The percentage of pediatricians who always dismiss patients over repeated vaccine refusals has also increased, doubling from 6.1 percent in 2006 to 11.7 percent in 2013.
The report urges pediatricians to listen to parents patiently, address concerns, and correct misperceptions; explain that vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness; present all vaccinations as required rather than optional; and personalize the positive message about vaccines.
In a separate policy statement published in Pediatrics alongside the survey, the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommended eliminating non-medical exemptions to school-required immunizations.