Frequency of Alternative Immunization Schedule Use in a Metropolitan Area
ABSTRACT Recent studies have described an increase in parental hesitancy regarding vaccines as well as increases in parental adoption of vaccine schedules that delay or limit receipt of recommended vaccines. This study quantifies potential prevalence and trends in alternative schedule compliance by measuring consistent shot-limiting in a metropolitan area of Oregon.
Retrospective cohort analysis using the Oregon ALERT Immunization Information System to track children born between 2003 and 2009 in the Portland metropolitan area. Joinpoint regression was used to analyze prevalence trends in consistent shot-limiting during that time period. The 2007-2009 Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine shortage and increased availability of combination vaccines were also examined for their effects on shot-limiting rates.
A total of 4502 of 97,711 (4.6%) children met the definition of consistent shot-limiters. The proportion of consistent shot-limiters in the population increased from 2.5% to 9.5% between 2006 and 2009. Compared with those with no or episodic limiting, consistent shot-limiters by 9 months of age had fewer injections (6.4 vs 10.4) but more visits when immunizations were administered (4.2 vs 3.3). However, only a small minority of shot-limiters closely adhered to published alternative schedules.
The percentage of children consistently receiving 2 or fewer vaccine injections per visit between birth and age 9 months increased threefold within a 2-year period, suggesting an increase in acceptance of non-Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices vaccine schedules in this geographic area.
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ABSTRACT: Objectives. The aim of this study was to examine caregivers' refusal of preventive medical and dental care for children. Methods. Prevalence rates of topical fluoride refusal based on dental records and caregiver self-reports were estimated for children treated in 3 dental clinics in Washington State. A 60-item survey was administered to 1024 caregivers to evaluate the association between immunization and topical fluoride refusal. Modified Poisson regression models were used to estimate prevalence rate ratios (PRRs). Results. The prevalence of topical fluoride refusal was 4.9% according to dental records and 12.7% according to caregiver self-reports. The rate of immunization refusal was 27.4%. In the regression models, immunization refusal was significantly associated with topical fluoride refusal (dental record PRR = 1.61; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.32, 1.96; P < .001; caregiver self-report PRR = 6.20; 95% CI = 3.21, 11.98; P < .001). Caregivers younger than 35 years were significantly more likely than older caregivers to refuse both immunizations and topical fluoride (P < .05). Conclusions. Caregiver refusal of immunizations is associated with topical fluoride refusal. Future research should identify the behavioral and social factors related to caregiver refusal of preventive care with the goal of developing multidisciplinary strategies to help caregivers make optimal preventive care decisions for children. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print May 15, 2014: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301927).American Journal of Public Health 05/2014; 104(7). DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301927 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective To identify children vaccinated following an alternative vaccine schedule using immunization information system data and determine the impact of alternative schedule use on vaccine coverage. Study design Children born in New York State, outside New York City, between January 1, 2009 and August 14, 2011 were assessed for vaccination patterns consistent with use of an alternative schedule. Children who by 9 months of age had at least 3 vaccination visits recorded in the statewide mandatory immunization information system after 41 days of age were classified as either attempting to conform to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published recommended vaccination schedule or an alternative schedule. The number of vaccination visits and up-to-date status at age 9 months were compared between groups. Results Of the 222 628 children studied, the proportion of children following an alternative schedule was 25%. These children were significantly less likely to be up-to-date at age 9 months (15%) compared with those conforming to the routine schedule (90%, P < .05). Children following an alternative schedule on average had about 2 extra vaccine visits compared with children following a routine schedule (P < .05). Conclusions Almost 1 in 4 children in this study appear to be intentionally deviating from the routine schedule. Intentional deviation leads to poor vaccination coverage leaving children vulnerable to infection and increasing the potential for vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.Journal of Pediatrics 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.09.013 · 3.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background. A growing number of parents adopt alternative vaccination schedules for their children. A better understanding of parents' rationales for these choices is needed to guide vaccine decision making. Methods. We conducted 24 semistructured telephone interviews with parents of 12- to 36-month-olds and analyzed data using an inductive approach. Results. We identified 5 alternative vaccination approaches: "Dr Sears" schedule, shot-limiting approach, selective delay or decline, visit-by-visit decisions, and refusal of all vaccines. Parents who adopted alternative approaches expressed a desire for more control of exposure to vaccine ingredients; vaccine safety, immune system burden, and perceived disease risk were articulated as concerns. Conclusions. Parents who adopt alternative vaccination schedules can be classified in defined subgroups based on their decision-making approaches, and many describe considered reasons to support their actions. Communications that acknowledge and address those reasons may be better able to engage parents and ultimately enhance the process of decision making about vaccines.Clinical Pediatrics 09/2014; 54(3). DOI:10.1177/0009922814548838 · 1.26 Impact Factor