Twenty-one percent of pediatricians dismiss families if the families refuse vaccines, according to researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
They surveyed more than 800 physicians across the U.S., and the figure reflects those who responded. Their study is published in the journal Pediatrics.
Dr. Sean O’Leary says the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the practice. But he says pediatricians, who view the benefits of vaccines as far outweighing the risks, may be reluctant to work with a family who doesn’t see it that way.
“They may feel that they may not be able to develop a good relationship with that family because they’re so far apart on such a core principle of what they do,” O’Leary said.
Another factor may be concern about unvaccinated children spreading disease in the waiting room to infants too young to be immunized or with compromised immune systems.