Alternative Vaccination Schedule Preferences Among Parents of Young Children

Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5456, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 11/2011; 128(5):848-56. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0400
Source: PubMed


Increasing numbers of parents use alternative vaccination schedules that differ from the recommended childhood vaccination schedule for their children. We sought to describe national patterns of alternative vaccination schedule use and the potential "malleability" of parents' current vaccination schedule choices.
We performed a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey of a nationally representative sample of parents of children 6 months to 6 years of age. Bivariate and multivariate analyses determined associations between demographic and attitudinal factors and alternative vaccination schedule use.
The response rate was 61% (N = 748). Of the 13% of parents who reported following an alternative vaccination schedule, most refused only certain vaccines (53%) and/or delayed some vaccines until the child was older (55%). Only 17% reported refusing all vaccines. In multivariate models, nonblack race and not having a regular health care provider for the child were the only factors significantly associated with higher odds of using an alternative schedule. A large proportion of alternative vaccinators (30%) reported having initially followed the recommended vaccination schedule. Among parents following the recommended vaccination schedule, 28% thought that delaying vaccine doses was safer than the schedule they used, and 22% disagreed that the best vaccination schedule to follow was the one recommended by vaccination experts.
More than 1 of 10 parents of young children currently use an alternative vaccination schedule. In addition, a large proportion of parents currently following the recommended schedule seem to be "at risk" for switching to an alternative schedule.

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Available from: Dianne Singer, Nov 16, 2015

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Article: Alternative Vaccination Schedule Preferences Among Parents of Young Children

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    • "The timing of vaccination is highly variable even for children whose parents may be trying to keep them to the ACIP recommended schedule [18]. In addition, few parents who report using alternative vaccination schedules follow a published alternative schedule [12]; a recent study found 756 distinct patterns of vaccination among undervaccinated children [18]. Because of this, a large number of children do not fully comply with any specified schedule and would be excluded from a schedulelevel safety comparison. "
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