Vaccine Safety -Put into Perspective

For anyone concerned about vaccine safety, putting the risks into perspective may be helpful:

“The most dangerous aspect of giving your child vaccines is driving to the office to get them,” according to Paul Offit, chief of infectious disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in Vaccine Safety Article from USA Today.

With regard to exemptions, a recent study has shown that private schools have higher vaccine exemption rates (4.25%) than public schools (1.91%) (J Pediatr 2014; 165: 129-33).  Using CDC data for 35 states (& district of Columbia), the authors noted that there were 48,931 exemptions in 2009-2010 with only 7146 for medical reasons.  For individual states, Hawaii had the highest private school exemption rate at 14.88% and Washington had the highest public school exemption rate at 6.08%.

The authors note that parents with “higher income and educational levels expressed more concerns about vaccine safety.”  However, they state that “parents who object to immunizations have been considered ‘free riders’ as they take advantage of the benefit created by children who assume any potential risk of adverse reactions.”

In a brief summary, Sarah Long, an infectious disease expert and associate editor of The Journal of Pediatrics, questions how these parents can be “so mistrustful of doctors…and yet so confident in their own musings? At the same time that they are attempting to advantage their children by attendant a private school, they are putting their children in harm’s way.”

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