How to talk with parents about vaccines

Walking parents through the decision to vaccinate their children is a conversation. The vast majority of the time it is an easy conversation. Sometimes it is difficult.

If the conversation goes like this, then we, as doctors aren’t doing our jobs:

Pediatrician: “Are you going to vaccinate your child?”

Parent: “No.”

Pediatrician: “Get out of my office.”

The medical community has lost a lot of ground on communicating the necessity of vaccines. For years, we told our patients “now it’s time for the shots” and our patients signed consent forms and stuffed vaccine information sheets in their bags. We walked out of the room, leaving our staff to inject. We didn’t talk about the diseases we were preventing. We didn’t talk about the millions of lives we were saving. We made huge gains in preventing illness, and it was so easy.

Then, the landscape changed. Bad science gave parents doubts. Horrible diseases were controlled in the developed world, and we forgot to be scared. People with various axes to grind played on people’s fears and beliefs, using them to skew risks without talking about benefits.

In addition, society changed. Patients were empowered to be a more active part of healthcare decisions but weren’t given the tools they needed to do it well. Pop culture and the 24/7 news cycle spawned an unhealthy mix that made celebrities appear to be health experts. Stories about risks in medicine made great headlines; stories about benefits were only aired if they were new or ground breaking.

These intertwined forces left us where we are now, and we cannot turn our backs on the children who are caught in the mess. While I understand the thinking of my colleagues who feel differently, we must not turn children away because their parents are not planning to vaccinate.

If we turn away families who do not plan to vaccinate, we have shut the door on the conversation. We guarantee those kids will have the opportunity to be infected by vaccine-preventable illnesses and spread them to others. We will be sending them to providers who don’t care about vaccines or who are anti-vaccine (and who knows what other medical precepts they don’t follow). Worse, we may be, pushing them out of getting non-emergency medical care at all.

I have taken care of many families who refused to vaccinate their children, at least initially.

This is how I approach vaccines.

I tell people, “now is the time for today’s immunizations” or, if it’s a prenatal visit, “here is the vaccine schedule.”  Some medical providers will ask families if they want to vaccinate, but I don’t ask if I can listen to a baby’s heart or see if it’s ok to check her development, so why would I ask about vaccines?

If parents are concerned about or outright reject immunizations, we have a conversation. “I’m surprised. Nearly all my patients vaccinate their children. I vaccinated my son to protect him from all those diseases. What are your concerns?”

I try to give them good information and clear up misconceptions.  Sometimes they will ask questions or offer objections that I can’t answer on the spot, and I tell them I need to do some research. I never give answers I’m not sure about and I never make claims I can’t back up.

If they are still not convinced, I tell them we will keep talking about it. I encourage them to follow the well-researched guidelines of every health organization in the world.

Then, I tell them that I find vaccinating children to be so important and such a core of pediatric training and practice, that I have made rules for families who aren’t ready to vaccinate yet.

Here are the rules for the families who aren’t ready to vaccinate yet and for me:

  1. At every applicable visit, I will recommend vaccines by the recommended vaccine schedule (I won’t harp on it at a visit about an injury or during an emergency, but I will discuss it virtually every other time.)
  2. Parents need to share their information sources with me. I will fact check them and provide alternative sources of accurate information when I find inaccuracies. I will tell them when I’m not sure or when I don’t know something.
  3. Every time their child has a vaccine-preventable illness or I have to do an unnecessary lab test because they aren’t vaccinated, I will remind them of their decision and recommend vaccination.
  4.  I will treat parents respectfully, and they will treat me respectfully. I won’t be condescending or dismissive, and they won’t accuse me of endangering children or getting rich from Big Pharma. If they change their mind about vaccinating, I won’t say, “I told you so.”
  5. Their child and unvaccinated members of their family will need to wear a mask at every sick visit or any time they come in with a rash, cough/cold or fever.

Some families, when they hear and experience these rules, have chosen another provider. Most have stayed. Virtually all of them have, eventually, gotten their children fully vaccinated. It’s a lot of work (and I’ve been lucky to work in settings that gave me adequate time), but vaccination is so important, we have to keep the conversation going.

Andrew Cronyn is a pediatrician who blogs at Parents for Vaccinations.

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  • JR

    “but I don’t ask if I can listen to a baby’s heart or see if it’s ok to check her development”

    You should always ask.
    1. Tell the parent what you’re checking, why, and how it will be done.
    2. Ask for permission.
    3. With permission, perform the check.

    Doing anything else is a hold over to paternalism – “I know what’s best and I’m going to do it and I don’t need your permission or input into what I’m doing.”

    Note – I know doctors are trained to do this, but it’s part of the “hidden curriculum” that becomes normalized through your training. It’s not the right thing to do.

    • PedsDad

      I may have given a bit of literary license to what happens. I don’t walk into the room and immediately push my stethoscope to their chest and grunt something and walk out. I talk to them, I let them know we’re going to do a physical exam and let them know what I find along the way.

      But, there is a tacit permission given by coming to a doctor’s office that a basic history and physical will be done (often there is an explicit permission on some consent papers as well). I may be completely wrong, but I think asking permission to examine each part of the body and awaiting response would, ultimately, be frustrating and annoying to the patient and the provider. Of course, a conversation also needs to happen for any potentially painful, uncomfortable or embarrassing parts of an exam to take place.

      • JR

        Every doctor does things differently. How in the world is a patient able to consent when there hasn’t been a conversation, first, about what is going to be done?

        Examinations are only routine for the doctors giving the routine.

        It doesn’t take much time to say “I’m going to use my stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs, is that ok?” while holding up the stethoscope and pointing to the places it will be placed, especially if one practices saying it so it’s second nature.

        Try it for one week with the parents who seem nervous, scared, irritated, or angry. It will make them feel more comfortable and calm them down.

  • guest

    So, in other words, if parents have concerns about the long-term safety of our vaccine schedule (which has not been demonstrated by any sort of placebo-controlled study), they are shamed, and badgered out of your practice. I am not sure I see how this is better than just being straightforward and letting them know that you are not comfortable with working with unvaccinated children. It would be more honest, and more respectful.

    • PedsDad

      Not at all. There are ways to have conversations that are shaming and badgering, and there are ways to have conversations that support families in coming to a decision that is in the best interests of the child, their family and the community. I’d like to think I did a pretty good job, and given that most patients stayed with me and kept talking, I’d say I did.

      Now, as for your argument about placebo-control studies of vaccines and long-term safety… This is a classically manipulative argument of the anti-vaccine movement. It sounds scientific, so people think it must be true. In fact, there are large population surveys that have looked at immunized and non-immunized populations and not found any huge differences…except in the number of vaccine-preventable illnesses that have infected non-vaccinated people.

      • guest

        Your response is a perfect illustration of the fact that not as much hard science lies behind the vaccination movement as a lot of doctors would like to think. In almost 30 years of practicing, teaching residents, and running journal clubs, I don’t think I have ever heard an MD refer to a call for placebo-controlled trials as “a classically manipulative argument.” Methodologically sound studies are considered the cornerstone of evidence-based medicine. The fact that you must resort to such ad hominem tactics as calling names in response to a request for scientific proof speaks for itself.

        Also, I would love to see some links to the population surveys you are citing. I assume you have them handy in order to provide them to your concerned parents, whom you are asking to “provide their information sources.”

        • NewMexicoRam

          Putting masks on is NOT a shaming tactic. It is a public health necessity, in the cases described.

          • guest

            No, it’s either a shaming tactic, or a hysterical over-response.

        • PedsDad

          The arguments against a placebo-control study in this case would be the same as arguments against placebo-control studies of seat belt or car seat use, smoking cessation and other things where benefits have been so completely demonstrated.
          A placebo-control study of vaccines would not be allowed by any ethics panel in the world. We already know that vaccines work. We have a number of studies that show the lack of developmental issues.
          Here is a handout from the AAP that outlines a number of those studies: http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/VaccineStudies.pdf
          .

          • guest

            All of these studies pertain to the purported link between autism and vaccines, which has been rather thoroughly debunked, and so is a bit of a stalking horse, as I would imagine most parents these days who have concerns about vaccines are more generally concerned about the fact that long-term safety has not been definitively established, nor does anyone appear to think that it should be studied.

            Although my children have had almost all of their vaccines, I for one agree with parents who have reservations about any medication pushed by Big Pharma these days. I think doctors are making a very big mistake by treating such public concerns so dismissively and pejoratively. For one thing, it strengthens the public impression that we are all in cahoots with big drug companies.

  • ninguem

    I reject that premise. Completely.

    These are EDUCATED, WELL-TO-DO parents.

    I do NOT, and I mean NEVER, have to explain the value of vaccines to my Salvadorean and Ethiopian and Somalian and Nigerian and Guatemalan and Bhutanese and Nigerian patients.

    ONLY, and I mean 100% American yuppies are problems with vaccine refusal. And double down, it’s American YUPPIES, not the blue-collar types. The vaccine refusal rates are astronomical…….in my community’s Montessouri schools, the Waldorf schools, the “cooperatives”. Every single one a school for the yuppie puppies.

    The foreign nationals do not complain about the vaccines because they know bloody well what the native diseases can do……likely having seen it first-hand.

    It is not my fault that an American yuppie does not have the common sense of a Somalian peasant.

    Like you, I will take the time to talk sense with the parent, starting with the basics.

    I vaccinate my own children. And very often, I did it personally.I don’t kick them out over refusal, but make it clear that their refusal is dangerous and dumb.

    • PedsDad

      I’ve also had the experience that people who have seen these diseases first hand are much more likely to request the immunizations. But I think the fault is also that of doctors who don’t provide good vaccine education, a media that prefers sensationalism to science, and a culture that treats ‘belief’ as equivalent to ‘facts.’

    • JR

      There was the Nigerian Polio Outbreak in 2007, because the people thought the polio vaccine was an anti-Muslim plot.

      Also watch the Ted Talk Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria. (One Answer from the video: In India, everyone gets malaria and almost every survives, so it’s seen as a “fact of life” that you will get Malaria. It made me realize that’s how I saw the flu and it’s the video that convinced me to finally start getting the flu vaccine).

    • guest

      Exactly. The parents who have reservations about vaccines, by and large, are educated parents with good critical thinking skills. This fact alone should give the medical profession pause. If a large body of educated adults are expressing reservations about the long-term safety of vaccines, perhaps their concerns need to be responded to seriously rather than with contempt, judgement and hysteria.

      Remember, our profession has been wrong about lots of things over the years. Joseph Lister was jeered at by surgeons for suggesting that they wash their hands before surgery. I am old enough to remember being taught in medical school that peptic ulcers were a psychosomatic condition often related to stress and personality; just a few years later, we learned that 80-90% of ulcers are actually due to H. pylori infection, and have nothing to do at all with psychological factors.

    • NormRx

      I couldn’t agree more ninguem. Why is it, the more educated some people become, the more ignorant they become. I find that most of the people that believe in Riki, pyramids, magnets, essential oils etc. are truly ignorant.

  • guest

    I didn’t see anything in Dr. Cronyn’s piece about offering his patients copies of or links to specific studies that might satisfy their concerns about safety, or long-term efficacy, or risk-benefit ratios. Such activities would truly constitute “educating patients to the best of his ability.” The fact that such studies are not routinely referred to or offered in discussions with parents, is either paternalistic, or is evidence that such studies do not exist in as great abundance as we would like.

    Asking parents to provide proof that vaccines are dangerous, rather than offer proof that they are safe, is the complete reverse of how the medical profession approaches informed consent to every other procedure and medication other than vaccines.

    • PedsDad

      Here’s one handout I really like from the AAP.
      http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/VaccineStudies.pdf

      I hope this answers some of your questions. There are a number of other handouts like this that I have used from the CDC website.

      • guest

        Ah, the CDC. Let me tell you a little story about the CDC. During the swine flu epidemic of 2008-9, there was public debate about the benefits of deliberately exposing oneself to the swine flu in order to provide immunity against a possible second wave of a deadlier strain of influenza virus. The CDC’s official guidance was that the public not try this. However, CDC employees at the time were encouraged to go ahead and expose themselves.

        • T H

          Please provide a citation for this.

          • guest

            Um, close personal relationship with an employee of the CDC at the time?

          • T H

            I’m sorry. I can’t take your friend’s assertion as gospel, nor would I take it as unofficial CDC policy.

  • JR

    One of my friends told us she just had her first mammogram, we were shocked because she’s way too young!

    It was a breast exam, not a mammogram.

    Patients don’t instinctively know what’s going to happen at the doctors office unless the doctor tells them. Doctors should never assume patients have consented to anything they haven’t personally discussed with the patient.

  • PedsDad

    A placebo-control study of vaccines would not be allowed by any ethics panel in the world. We already know that vaccines work. We have a number of studies that show the lack of developmental issues. Here is a handout from the AAP that outlines a number of those studies: http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/VaccineStudies.pdf

    The arguments against a placebo-control study in this case would be the same as arguments against placebo-control studies of seat belt or car seat use, smoking cessation and other things where benefits have been so completely demonstrated.

    • guest

      The problem with that argument is that we are not talking about just one vaccine. We are talking about over a dozen vaccines, some of which are fairly new, not well tested, and intended to prevent conditions which are not particularly dangerous or to which children are not very likely to be exposed (chickenpox, HPV, hepatitis B). In these cases, it is incorrect to say that the “benefits have been so completely demonstrated.”

      I still remember my first child’s first pediatrician (she lasted about one visit) telling me that my son needed immunization against hepatitis B because he “might pick up a used needle in the park.” We lived on Park Avenue in the 90′s at the time, and the park he played at was arguably the most upscale playground in the city, with not a drug addict in sight, ever. It is foolish and condescending explanations like these that make educated parents feel that pediatricians are not great scientific thinkers, and are mindlessly pushing unnecessary vaccines.

  • Dorit Reiss

    Thank you. I’ve been thinking about it since having a conversation with a pediatrician I respect. Initially my view was that it’s more appropriate to refuse treatment, but he convinced me that that’s unfair to the unvaccinated children – they’re already at higher risk, and to deny them medical care otherwise is problematic. I like your approach a lot.

  • guest

    I think unless you are medically educated, and not a “follow-the-herd” type thinker (physicians tend to be notorious for this, as we are socialized through our training to be very compliant with authority), it is difficult to appreciate some of the more high-level concerns that people have and should have about vaccines.

  • PedsDad

    Wow, you’ve made some huge assumptions about my practice. In fact, if someone comes in with parotid swelling (which is the actual symptom of mumps, not ‘throat’ swelling) I would check for mumps…if they had a clinical picture that fits measles or polio, I would, of course check for those… BUT that doesn’t mean every patient with a swollen throat or ‘tingling’ or fever and a rash needs to be checked for those diseases. And when I have diagnosed these illnesses (mumps, once, in someone unvaccinated), I report them to the necessary agencies.

  • http://www.chrisjohnsonmd.com/ Chris Johnson

    The notion that pharmaceutical companies profit greatly from making vaccines is incorrect. It’s been difficult over the years to get them to continue making them. Physicians also don’t profit from vaccines, often barely breaking even or losing money with each dose they administer in their offices.

    Here’s an overview of that issue from 2005 from the journal Health Affairs.

    http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/24/3/622.full

    • guest

      The fact that their profit margins are low on vaccines does not in any way mean that they don’t market them aggressively. Merck lobbied state legislatures very actively to try and get laws enacted making their HPV vaccine mandatory for young girls. As a parent, I object to having a drug company get to decide which vaccines my children have to take. And I strongly object to the medical community turning a blind eye to that sort of corruption.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22420796

      • ninguem

        Can’t speak for your practice, but I find that the parents in my office, are not objecting to just the HPV and similar new vaccines.

        They’re rejecting all of them, including MMR and whooping cough.

        The cemetery in my little isolated Oregon rural town, I noticed a lot of little kid gravestones, all with the year of death 1952.

        I’m thinking I need to go to the historical society and see what happened.

        My guess is polio.

        • http://www.chrisjohnsonmd.com/ Chris Johnson

          That is also my experience. The main concerning ones seem to be MMR and DaPT. Nobody makes much money on those.

  • FEDUP MD

    I gotta tell you, I am about to give birth to another baby, and I would be pretty angry at you if I take my newborn in for a check to your office and she ends up in the ICU because she got pertussis or similar from an unvaccinated child you had in the waiting room. All contacts for my newborns have been vaccinated including Tdap boosters, and I typically don’t take them out in public when they are very young and unvaccinated. But this is a situation where we have to go and there is no way around it, and I would blame you as a fellow physician for endangering my child in an unavoidable way. I would certainly be upset if this practice was not made clear so that I could switch to a practice where I could minimize the risk to my child. I have seen two babies die of pertussis. I will do everything in my power to make my child not be the third, and would appreciate the assistance of my own child’s physician.

  • guest

    Right, this is all anecdotal information. What most educated parents want to see is thoughtful, methodologically sound risk-benefit analyses being made, especially for the more recent vaccines against low-mortality conditions such as chickenpox and HPV.

    • Carol Taylor

      Yes. Absolutely.

  • ninguem

    I’m still waiting for the placebo-controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of parachutes.

  • T H

    There are people out there who believe that we have not been to the moon, that sugar makes kids go nuts, that Everest is the tallest mountain (actually, base to summit, Muana Kea has it by almost 4000′), and that mother birds abandon their chicks if they’ve been touched by humans.

    Because some people believe these particular things (and yes, the Everest thing opens a LOT of eyes) does not make them bad people. It makes them ignorant of the facts. ONCE they have the facts, choosing to believe otherwise is an entirely different story.

  • Natasha Raja, M.D.

    @minority_view:disqus I have never died in a car accident. Therefore I will not wear a seat belt or put my children in car seats. That kind of logic is just not logical.

  • NormRx

    If there is a vaccine available for a disease I am getting it. I remember the ravages of the polio epidemic in the early fifties. My cousin, who lived next door, contracted polio and is, to this day paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Any parent that does not have their child immunized is truly negligent in the welfare of their child.

  • Natasha Raja, M.D.

    Thank you for this article Dr.Cronyn. The anti-vaccine media has made all more fearful of having our voices heard in support of vaccines. Sharing the facts about the benefits of vaccines has allowed me to sleep better at night. Like most pediatricians, I have been haunted by the memories of all of the perfect children I have seen die from vaccine-preventable diseases.

    We went into pediatrics because we are passionate about keeping children healthy. Big pharma does not pay my salary or even buy my lunches. Keep fighting the good fight!

    http://www.ParentingMD.com

  • NormRx

    Studies have already been done. Every vaccine on the market has already had efficacy and safety studies done.

  • Minority View

    Nope. Statistics are fun. All too often, vaccines are promoted based on anecdotes and scaremongering. Let’s take diphtheria. According to the CDC, if we stopped vaccinated we would have 200,000 cases of this deadly disease each year and 20,000 deaths. But…if we look at the stats we see that…despite very spotty vaccination rates in the 1930s and 1940s, both the incidence of the illness and the death rate plummeted. What occurred and why?

    • FEDUP MD

      Death rate had been plummetting from diptheria due to antitoxin use, invented in the late 1800s. Of course, it was not an ideal treatment, as it only treated serum, not tissue bound, toxin and had the risk of serum sickness, but it was lifesaving. The inventor won the Nobel Prize for it. Perhaps you have heard of the Iditarod? This retraces the steps of sled dog teams racing to bring antitoxin to treat a diptheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska.

      As far as decrease in incidence rates, several explanations. One, diptheria was known to come and go in epidemics due to its very high infectivity. Like many diseases of its type, there would be an outbreak, nearly everyone who was susceptible would get it, and the survivors would be immune. Then it would take some time to develop a new susceptible cohort and then a new outbreak would occur. Two, around WW2 antibiotics became more widespread and it became standard practice to give not only to diptheria sufferers (to whom it actually made little difference) but their contacts, to limit spread.

  • FEDUP MD

    Nothing is 100%. Of course it is now well known immunity wanes, especially when acellular was introduced over whole cell, which is why the new guidelines call for boosters for everyone over11 or 12 or so. But the risk is much higher (7 fold) of getting pertussis from an unvaccinated person than a vaccinated one.

    I mean, my child could die in a car accident. I’m not going to throw out the car seat because it doesn’t prevent 100% of deaths. It’s all about controlling risk as much as you can. Having my child around only vaccinated people (inclding all adults with boosters in he past 2 years) is just risk mitigation.

  • guest

    A great article. Yes, I am a physician, but I personally eschew medical care whenever possible for both myself and my family.

    That said, everyone is fully vaccinated. I come from an immigrant family and like niguem said, anyone who has seen the ravages of VPD in the flesh (pardon the pun) has a hard time arguing against routine vaccination. My uncle has not walked since childhood thanks to polio.

    Also, I when I was a med student and resident we were trained to anticipate the drooling potentially emergent intubation on the child with epiglottitis from h.flu. Now, I never see nor hear about it. I wonder why…

  • NormRx

    What do you want to do inject a thousand kids with the polio vaccine another thousand with a placebo and then expose all of them to the polio virus? By using your logic we should have a 100 people jump out of planes with and without parachutes to check the effectiveness of a parachute. Let’s add life preservers and seat belts into the mix. Vaccine studies are done to show safety and antibody levels. Polio, measles, diphtheria, small pox and many other diseases have been virtually wiped out in the vaccinated population. I venture to guess that the same people that are worried about a gun in the house are the same people that refuse to vaccinate their children, talk about misguided priorities. The same anti-gun people that want to criminally charge parents when their child is accidentally shot would never accept responsibly for the diseases in their unvaccinated child. As far as I am concerned they should be charged with child neglect.

    • Chiked

      No I want to inject a thousand kids with the flu vaccine, chicken pox vaccine, “insert your self-limiting viral illness here” and another thousand with a placebo and see who comes down with the disease.

      I know that vaccinations against diseases like polio, small pox have been tested and proven effective. But the idea that every time a pharmaceutical company comes up with a vaccine, we should all roll up our sleeves and our children’s, is absolutely nuts.

  • PrimaryCareDoc
    • Chiked

      Can you send me studies actually done in the US?

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        Wow. Shifting goalposts, much? Who cares where the studies were done? Humans are humans. You asserted that there were NO placebo controlled studies. I gave you eight. There are plenty more.

        • Chiked

          The primary concern parents such as myself have with vaccines is safety. Yet you send me a paper that is looking at the sustained immunogenicity and efficacy of the HPV vaccine. I read the paper and it has just one small blurb about adverse events: “The safety profile of the vaccine group was similar to that of the
          placebo group (Table 4)” but does not list what those events were.

          Let me try again. I need a good double blind placebo controlled trial looking at the SAFETY of any currently recommended vaccine. I will ignore the fact that you have only sent me HPV vaccines but I do not care for studies done in China or any third world country. If these vaccines are so safe, these companies are rich enough to conduct one in North America or Europe.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Such classic anti-vax goalpost shifting.

            You said there were NO placebo controlled studies. You were wrong. When I showed that to you, you shifted the goalpost and asked for a study done in the US.

            I gave you one.

            Now you’ve shifted again. The study wasn’t good enough for you. It only looked at HPV (BTW, I can find studies for the flu vaccine, Hep B, Hib, Menactra…) You are not interested in studies done anywhere but in the USA.

            Just admit it. There is NO study that will ever satisfy you.

            BTW:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23299013

            A placebo-controlled study, IN THE USA, specifically looking at safety. I look forward to seeing what you decide is wrong with this study.

  • Josy Coke

    your neighbors are to thank for your herd immunity.

  • Julie Leatherbarrow

    The number of vaccines on the current schedule for children is ridiculous and has never been tested for safety. Never. Show me where thousands of parents signed up their kids to be studied to have 49 vaccines injected into them in the first 5 years of life. Show me! Show me the study where thousands of pregnant women have signed up to be studied on the safety of the flu vaccine in pregnant women or the safety of the D-Tap vaccine in pregnant women. What pregnant woman would take the chance of participating in such a study? There have been ZERO studies! If you, Dr. Kevin, are going to make a claim to safety, show me the studies done on the current schedule. Then sign a form stating that YOU take responsibility if you harm a child by convincing the parent that the vaccine is safe for that child in particular (because every body reacts differently), and that child is harmed. The parent CANNOT sue the manufacturer if their child is harmed and the law created to protect the vaccine manufacturers also states that they do not have to list ALL of the potential side effects. So, you doctors who are so convinced that vaccines are safe should start taking responsibility. I am 42 and had maybe 8 vaccines in the first 7 years of life. My oldest is 25 and had 12 vaccines in the first 8 years of life. My two youngest are expected to have 49 vaccines in the first 5 years of life, starting at 24 hours old. Within the first 24 hours, Hep B was offered to us. The only way to get Hep B is through unprotected sex or dirty needles. Why is this offered to a 24 hour old baby? Seems simple to me. MONEY.

    • PedsDad

      1. Here are studies on the risks of influenza in pregnancy (huge), the benefits of the influenza vaccine (also sizable) and the risks of the influenza vaccine (tiny). There actually have been quite a few studies. https://www.acog.org/Resources_And_Publications/Committee_Opinions/Committee_on_Obstetric_Practice/Influenza_Vaccination_During_Pregnancy

      2. I’m not sure where you get the idea that ‘money’ is a motivator for physicians to give kids vaccines. In fact, many practices lose money on vaccines but feel it is so important, they keep going. In addition, there is no mechanism by which a doctor could be paid for giving a vaccine in the hospital. (Quite honestly, pediatrics is one of the lowest paid medical specialties…NONE of us did pediatrics ‘for the money.’)
      3. Why do we vaccinate newborns for Hepatitis B? The risk that a mother won’t know she has been infected, the risk of transmission through blood transfusion or other blood-to-blood contact (bloody noses of a classmate or daycare worker, would be one of many examples).

      4. Another way of looking at the increase in the number of vaccines is: “Wow, look at all these diseases we can prevent now! It’s so sad that 42 years ago we could only prevent a few.” It’s similar to the fact there were fewer treatments for asthma, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, etc… 42 years ago than there are now.

      5. Finally, the studies have been done. Take a look through the responses to this blog and you can see plenty of links to safety studies.

      • Julie Leatherbarrow

        Who paid for the studies? That will always determine the outcome. What makes me think that vaccine pushers are financially motivated? Because of the millions of dollars that the manufactures make by pushing vaccines. I find it interesting that you did not comment on the law in 1986 that created the Vaccine Injury Court that allows vaccine manufacturers do not have to state ALL of the potential side effects of their product and protects them from being sued. You also say nothing about signing a form stating that YOU will take responsibility if a child or an adult is harmed by a vaccine that you administer. Not all bodies react the same to injections or drugs. I do not react the same to sulfa as others do. I am extremely allergic and could die if it is given to me. But, I only found that out after it was prescribed to me back in the late 90′s. Fortunately, my mother found me passed out in my apartment and got me to the hospital. Will you take responsibility if you harm a child or adult? Because the manufacturers are fully protected. Will you sign a document stating that you will take responsibility? Will you admit that not all bodies react the same to all drugs/ injections? And I see treatments for different diseases all of the time that we don’t need, like cholesterol. People, eat better and throw away the pills! My husband lowered his cholesterol level by changing his DIET and never once took a pill. Drug pushers cloak themselves in white coats.
        And to suggest that “mother’s may not know if they have Hep B” and that is why all babies are given the vaccine at 24 hours old is ridiculous. I know my body better than anyone else since I have been living in it my entire life. I know my experiences and to suggest that we just don’t know ourselves but the doctors always know best is really egotistic. So, you are saying that the medial establishment is assuming all women are either having unprotected sex with strangers who could have Hep B or are needle users. Isn’t that nice!

      • Julie Leatherbarrow

        What you provided was an opinion posted by doctors. All is says is that no study shows adverse reactions but does not state the study, year it was done, where it was done or by whom. Or who paid for the study.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Annnnnd….shifted again!

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Guess not. Thanks for proving my point about shifting the goalposts. Try pubmed. You might learn something.