Colorado study of vaccine delays called a ‘wake-up call’

March 2, 2015
Photo: Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (AP Photo)
A single-dose of the measles-mumps-rubella virus vaccine, or MMR vaccine.

A study released Monday says pediatricians are seeing more parents wanting to delay vaccinations of their children.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine say unfounded fears about vaccines are causing a growing public health risk. 

Researchers surveyed about 450 doctors from around the country, nearly all of whom said they're getting requests to spread out vaccines. Many parents say they worry about complications, that their child might develop autism, or think that their child won't get a vaccine-preventable disease.

And increasing numbers of pediatricians are agreeing to the delay, hoping to build trust with parents.

"I do think it’s a wake-up call," said Dr. Allison Kempe, a professor of pediatrics.

She directed the study and said concerns about vaccinations aren't backed by science. “Mostly it’s misinformation, and vague concerns about vaccines, that have nothing to do with science.” 

Delaying vaccines leads to higher rates of under-vaccination, she said. That puts children and other vulnerable people at risk of potentially serious vaccine-preventable diseases.

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