Study Looks at Vaccine Hesitancy:
A study of 376 responses to a prominent survey has found that most parents take their children for recommended vaccinations, but there are widespread fears that vaccines cause autism and that children are getting too many vaccines at once. [Kennedy A and others. Confidence about vaccines in the United States: understanding parents' perceptions. Health Affairs 30:1151-1159, 2011] http://content.healthaffairs.org/conten ... 1.abstract
A book review in the same journal issue identified reasons for these unfounded fears:
http://content.healthaffairs.org/conten ... 05.extract
**By giving equal airtime on television shows such as Oprah to the likes of actress Jenny McCarthy and other celebrities to inveigh against vaccination, and by treating the facts about vaccine safety as if they were still in dispute, the media foster fear and confusion.
**Parents bombarded with mixed messages about the dangers of technology-are more likely to listen to emotional narratives and charged stories than to reasoned evidence about what is right for our children.
**The media, technophobia, irresponsible doctors, and an increasingly risk-averse middle and upper class have all played key roles.
**Andrew Wakefield's report, which ran in the Lancet, may have been be "the flimsiest, most underpowered study supporting a conclusion of monumental importance to appear in a leading peer-reviewed journal in the past fifty years."
**Bernadine Healy, M.D., former director of the National Institutes of Health, is quoted repeatedly by anti-vaccinators as having serious qualms about vaccine safety.
**Medical schools are not teaching students how to engage parental worries about vaccine safety.
**Public health agencies have not pulled their weight in the vaccine wars. Those in charge do not speak out forcefully and vehemently in support of vaccines.
For more about vaccine fears, see:
**Gerber JS, Offit PA. Vaccines and autism: A tale of shifting hypotheses. Clinical Infectious Diseases 48:456-461, 2009. http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/4/456.full
**Offit PA, Moser, CA. The problem with Dr Bob's alternative vaccine schedule. Pediatrics 123e164-e169, 2009. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... /e164.full