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.

Download full-text


Available from: Dianne Singer, Nov 16, 2015
  • Source
    • "Although evidence from animal studies, pharmacokinetic modeling, observational studies, and clinical investigations support the safety of ingredients in currently licensed vaccines [2] [3] [4] [5], some parents cite vaccine ingredients as a safety concern. These concerns may be contributing to increased rates of undervaccination and adoption of alternative immunizations schedules across the United States [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. To date, there have been no population-based studies specifically designed to evaluate associations between clinically meaningful outcomes and non-antigen vaccine ingredients, other than thimerosal [11] [12] [13]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: In addition to antigens, vaccines contain small amounts of preservatives, adjuvants, and residual substances from the manufacturing process. Some parents have concerns about the safety of these ingredients, yet no large epidemiological studies have specifically examined associations between health outcomes and vaccine ingredients, other than thimerosal. This study examined the extent to which the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) could be used to study vaccine ingredient safety in children. Methods: Children born 2004-2011 were identified in VSD data. Using immunization records, two cohorts were identified: children who were up-to-date and children who were undervaccinated before age 2 years. A database was also created linking vaccine type and manufacturer with ingredient amounts documented in vaccine package inserts. Thirty-four ingredients in two or more infant vaccines were identified. However, only amounts (in mg) for aluminum were consistently documented and commonly contained in infant vaccines. Analyses compared vaccine aluminum exposure across cohorts and determined the statistical power for studying associations between aluminum exposure and hypothetical vaccine adverse events. Results: Among 408,608 children, mean cumulative vaccine aluminum exposure increased from 1.11 to 4.00mg between ages 92-730 days. Up-to-date children were exposed to 11-26% more aluminum from vaccines than undervaccinated children. Power analyses demonstrated that safety studies of aluminum could detect relative risks ranging from 1.1 to 5.8 for a range of adverse event incidence. Conclusions: The safety of vaccine aluminum exposure can be feasibly studied in the VSD. However, possible biological mechanisms and confounding variables would need to be considered before conducting any studies.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Vaccine
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As vaccine hesitancy has increased in the United States, various authors have begun proposing alternatives to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommended childhood immunization schedule. Because parents may believe the safety claims made by such authors, evaluations of the safety of alternative vaccination schedules are needed. However, comparing the safety of different vaccination schedules has numerous methodologic challenges. These challenges include defining vaccination history, defining safety, appropriately modeling interactions between vaccines, and appropriately handling age effects. Failure to properly address these challenges can result in biased results.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Vaccine
  • Source
    • "There is accumulating evidence to suggest that the number of US parents who have delayed or refused some childhood vaccines is increasing [1] [2] and that parents are regularly requesting to use alternative childhood immunization schedules [3] [4] [5]. Waning public trust and confidence in immunizations, however, is not confined to the US [6]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine the feasibility of using direct observation of provider-parent immunization discussions and to characterize provider communication practices with vaccine-hesitant parents. Over a 6 month period in 2010, we videotaped immunization discussions between pediatric providers and vaccine-hesitant parents during health supervision visits involving children 2-15 months old (N=24) in the Seattle area, Washington, USA. Videotapes were analyzed using the qualitative method of conversation analysis. We approached 96 parents seen by 9 different providers. Of those who were eligible (N=56), we enrolled 43% (N=24). Four videotaped visits were excluded from analysis for failure to obtain parental HIPAA authorization. Of the remaining 20 visits, there were ≥2 visits each that involved children aged 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 15 months, and all videotaped visits contained at least a brief immunization discussion. We identified 6 communication practices and several behavior types within each practice relevant to immunization: Practice 1, providers' initiations of the topic of vaccination; Types: participatory or presumptive format; Practice 2, parents' responses to providers' topic initiations; Types: strong or weak acceptance or resistance; Practice 3, providers' follow-ups to parent's responses; Types: no, immediate, or delayed pursuit; Practice 4, parents' vaccine-related questions or statements; Types: fact- or concern-based; Practice 5, providers' explicit solicitations of parent's questions/concerns; Types: designed to discourage or encourage discussion; and Practice 6, parents' responses to providers' solicitations of questions/concerns; Types: no question or fact- or concern-based inquiry. Direct observation of immunization discussions in the primary care pediatric setting is feasible and yields insight into several provider-parent immunization communication practices that are worthy of further study to determine which are effective at improving parental acceptance of immunization.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Vaccine
Show more