The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging pediatricians to refuse to provide care services to families who resist having their children vaccination. The statement which was released Monday justified that it would be "acceptable" for the doctors to exclude patients without valid medical conditions due to rising rate of vaccine "hesitancy".
Los Angeles Times reported that 87 percent of pediatricians last year are challenged by parents who refuse or delay their children's immunization. This is despite ongoing studies vaccines can prevent or lessen colic in babies and toddlers' tantrums.
A 2006 survey showed that 6 percent of pediatricians asked parents to find another practitioner if they refuse to have their child vaccinated. This has increased to 12 percent in 2013 when more parents were routinely refused.
"It was gut-wrenching," said Dr. Alison Ziari, pediatrics chief at the Austin Regional Clinic. "These are our families. We love them and we want to care for them."
However, the AAP said refusal should be the last resort. Pediatricians are encouraged to discuss the life-saving benefits of immunization as early as the first prenatal visit to avoid skepticism. On a positive note, out of 100,000 who were talked out of their resistance, only a fraction persisted with their decision.
Vaccines were earlier believed to be the cause of autism among children until after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention debunked that claim. Today, the AAP found that more parents believe vaccines are unnecessary; hence, their delay or refusal to acquire the same. Other reasons include child discomfort and concerns for immunity.
According to ABC News, most parents are skeptical because they are not seeing the widespread effects of illnesses like polio and whooping cough. This is in spite of the estimated 322 million diseases, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths from 1994 to 2013 prevented due to the advent of vaccines.