Impatient | Helping make the health care system work for you
Health

Almost all pediatricians have patients asking to delay vaccines, survey finds



A vast majority of pediatricians in a survey are concerned that not vaccinating kids on time leaves them susceptible to contagious diseases. Meanwhile, 82 percent believe that if they agree to bend the schedule, it will build trust with families.
A vast majority of pediatricians in a survey are concerned that not vaccinating kids on time leaves them susceptible to contagious diseases. Meanwhile, 82 percent believe that if they agree to bend the schedule, it will build trust with families.
Eric Larrayadieu

Back in December, I reported that staunchly pro-vaccination doctors were agreeing to bend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended vaccination schedule for shot-wary parents.

For that story, Santa Monica pediatrician Dr. Marcy Hardart estimated that about one out of every five families she saw asked to delay the vaccination schedule. Hardart told me parents would ask her:

"Can’t we start later?"…Do we have to do all of them at once? Can we spread them out?"

I reported that more and more doctors were complying with such requests, in the hopes that children would eventually become fully vaccinated.

I wrote that it was nearly impossible to determine how widespread these alternative vaccination schedules were, since the state doesn’t begin tracking immunizations until kids enter childcare or kindergarten.

Now, a survey of more than 500 pediatricians and family physicians published in Pediatrics offers some great insights into how frequently doctors get requests to spread out the vaccination schedule, what’s driving these requests, and how doctors are responding.

Here are some highlights:

If you're a pediatrician, tell us: Do these findings reflect your experience with families who want to alter the recommended vaccination schedule? Which strategies have you employed to convince parents to adhere to the schedule? Let us know in the comments section below, or e-mail us at Impatient@scpr.org.