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Some pediatricians refuse to treat children if parents refuse vaccines, according to a study

More than half of the pediatrician offices in the United States included in a new study published in the medical journal JAMA reported that they have a firing policy for families who refuse to vaccinate their children. Some doctors say this home policy is a way to encourage parents to vaccinate their children, while many also use it as a safeguard against unvaccinated children who could endanger their other patients.

“This study among US pediatricians showed that the practice of firing families who refuse vaccines for their children was common, with half of pediatricians reporting that their office has a firing policy, although fewer personally firing patients. “University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus researchers said the study released Tuesday.

The researchers conducted a survey from April to July 201

9 among US pediatricians to evaluate their current practices, experiences and policies of the office regarding the firing of families who refuse or ask to “disseminate” vaccinations.

More than half – 51% – of the 303 pediatricians involved in the research reported that their office had a policy to fire families if a vaccine was refused. However, only 37% reported doing it on their own.

That number was higher than that of a similar study conducted in 2012, which found that only 21% of pediatricians reported having often or always fired families for refusing vaccines.

Rejection can change parents’ minds

Families were fired more often by doctors for refusing vaccines (37%) than for spreading vaccines (6%), with a similar pattern spelled out in office policies.

Even children without symptoms can spread Covid-19, the CDC report shows

Of the 154 doctors who reported firing families for refusing vaccines, 18% said families always or often changed their minds and accepted the vaccination after hearing about the policy.

The facilities of the community health care / clinical organization and the hospital were less likely to have firing policies than private practices. Private practices in the Midwest were also less likely to have firing policies.

“Since vaccine refusal is common, the high prevalence of dismissal for families who refuse has important implications,” the researchers said.

“Future work should explore the effect this practice has on vaccination rates, whether it causes parents to change their minds about vaccination and whether it reduces access to medical care or erodes trust in doctors.”

A worrying trend

One shot of the coronavirus vaccine will probably not be enough
A report released in May by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a “worrying decline in routine childhood vaccinations due to families staying at home.”
Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics are urging parents to keep their children’s vaccinations up to date during the pandemic. Immediately following the report, the AAP released new guidelines for pediatricians to alleviate parents’ fears of taking their baby to the office.

“We know parents are worried,” said Dr. Sally Goza, president of the AAP, in a statement released in May.

“We want to reassure all of our families that pediatricians have innovated ways to make visits even safer, including setting different times or places for healthy and sick children, rigorous cleaning practices, and conducting portions of telemedicine visits.” .

Pediatricians should work with families to identify and update children on the vaccine as quickly as possible, he added.

Here are the recommended vaccines for ages, according to the CDC:

Birth: Within the first 12 hours of life, all children should receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine.
1 to 2 months: During this time, the child should receive a second dose of hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine and the first dose of vaccine for the following:
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (or pertussis) (DTaP)
  • Haemophilus influenzae disease type b (Hib)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal disease (PCV13)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
4 months: A second dose is planned for the following vaccines:
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (or pertussis) (DTaP)
  • Haemophilus influenzae disease type b (Hib)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal disease (PCV13)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
6 months: Babies 6 months and older need flu shots if it’s flu season, roughly September through March. Influenza is deadly: Complications of influenza killed 830 children in the United States between 2004 and 2012 – many of those children were otherwise healthy. The third doses of vaccines needed at this time also include:
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (or pertussis) (DTaP)
  • Haemophilus influenzae disease type b (Hib)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal disease (PCV13)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
12 to 23 months: A couple of the former vaccines need a fourth dose, but the child also needs new vaccines designed to protect themselves from a number of serious diseases:
  • Chickenpox (Varicella) (first dose)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (or pertussis) (DTaP) (fourth dose)
  • Haemophilus influenzae disease type b (Hib) (fourth dose)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) (first dose)
  • Polio (IPV) (3rd dose)
  • Pneumococcal disease (PCV13) (fourth dose)
  • Hepatitis A (HepA) (first dose)
  • Hepatitis B (HepB) (third dose between 6 months and 18 months)
  • Flu (flu) (needed every year)

4-6 years: It’s time for another dose of several vaccines started earlier, along with the annual flu shot:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (or pertussis) (DTaP) (fifth dose)
  • Polio (IPV) (fourth dose)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) (second dose)
  • Chickenpox (Varicella) (second dose)
7-10 years: In addition to the annual flu shot, children in this age group must receive the first dose to protect themselves from human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer, cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis or anus, as well as cancer of the head and neck. According to the CDC, approximately 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV.

The vaccine can be given as early as the age of 9 to both girls and boys.

Pre-adolescents (11 to 12 years): Don’t forget the flu shot every year. Additional vaccines needed at this age include:
  • Meningococcal disease (MenACWY) (one dose)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) (two doses)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (or pertussis) (Tdap) (one dose)
Teen (13 to 18 years): At age 16, adolescents should receive the second dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY), along with an annual flu shot. If your child’s college has reported outbreaks of a different type of meningococcal disease, called serogroup B meningococcal disease, talk to your pediatrician about a vaccine for that subtype.

CNN’s Maggie Fox contributed to this report.

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