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frogdogdog
frogdogdog , Parent asks:
Q:

Despite evidence to the contrary, some parents believe vaccinations cause autism. How can I convince parents that it's unsafe NOT to vaccinate?

Even though no scientific study has shown any relation between autism and vaccines -- there still is some reluctance among parents in my school to vaccinate their kids.

The reluctance is mostly due to the discredited "research" of Dr. Andrew Wakefield. I'm afraid that parents who don't vaccinate their kids may be contributing to potential outbreaks at school. I'm also worried that the vaccine that my kids have been given is only about 90% effective -- and they may be at risk if an outbreak were to occur.

What's the best way to approach reluctant parents that it's ok to vaccinate their kids?
In Topics: Physical Health, Medical problems
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

Wayne Yankus
Feb 9, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Great question, frogdogdog.  We need to convince parents that as parents and guardians of their children's health, they have a responsibility to ALL children.  herd immunity is important to all those kids for whom some vaccines didn't take. Read Paul Offit's book on False Prophets, check out our special edition on vaccines, and push in your state to eliminate or block "philosophical exemption" laws to vaccines in order to protect your child.  Science is tough for some parents to understand, but they understand guilt.  The guilt of allowing a child to die of a vaccine preventable disease.  Parent to parent and doctor to parent is the best way to come to a satisfactory agreement.  good luck with this.  It is a national concern of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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Additional Answers (3)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, Adding to the excellent Expert answer you received...

Here is some evidence-based information you might also pass along to parents who are misinformed or otherwise reluctant to vaccinate their children: http://www.education.com/special-edition/childhood-immunizations-vaccinations/

Thanks for asking this important question!
> 60 days ago

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JoanneConnolly
JoanneConno... writes:
You talk about the herd effect...have you thought to look at it in reverse? I am not saying they do...but I sure won't say they don't either. It is just as ignorant.  None of us know for certain, without a doubt....There is just as much evidence on both sides. Do your research. Whether they cause it, contribute to it or don't...either way, they have ingredients in them that are not great and kids can have negative reactions to them. That is why the courts have paid out millions in damage claims.
> 60 days ago

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DRollingKearney
DRollingKea... writes:
Your question is, in fact, based on flawed information. Dr. Wakefield's research was NOT discredited and, in fact, the British Medical Journal fraudulently maligned his research, which has, incidentally, been replicated by other researchers.

The so-called "herd immunity" you are referring to (i.e., the reason an unvaccinated child would be considered a threat) is also unscientific.

I invite you to read my lengthy detailed comment on another article on this website: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/The_Vaccine_Debate

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