CHICAGO — By age 6, children should have vaccinations against 14 diseases, in at least two dozen separate doses, the U.S. government advises. More than one in 10 parents reject that, refusing some shots or delaying others mainly because of safety concerns, a national survey found.
Worries about vaccine safety were common even among parents whose kids were fully vaccinated: one in five among that group said they think delaying shots is safer than the recommended schedule. The results suggest that more than 2 million infants and young children may not be fully protected against preventable diseases, including some that can be deadly or disabling.
The nationally representative online survey of roughly 750 parents of kids age 6 and younger was done last year and results were released online today in the journal Pediatrics. They are in line with a larger federal survey released last month, showing that at least one in 10 toddlers and preschoolers lagged on vaccines that included chickenpox and the measles-mumps-rubella combination shots. That survey, also for 2010, included more than 17,000 households.
Knowledge Networks conducted the Pediatrics survey, which had an error margin of plus or minus 5 percentage points.