Vaccinating kids can be hard for some Canadian parents

Posted Sep 15, 2010 by KJ Mullins
When kids gather in close quarters at school they are at a higher risk for infections. That risk is lessened by vaccines but not all parents are at ease with the immunizations their children require, new research indicates
by ghinson
Many parents struggle with conflicting emotions when it comes to taking their kids to get their vaccines even with the understanding that vaccines have saved more lives of children than any other medical intervention in the past five decades.
The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) today released new research examining parents' views on immunization. The results were surprising according to researchers.
A third of Ontarian parents who plan to or have immunized their children are nervous about it. For 23 per cent of parents it is a difficult decision. Almost half (43 per cent) of Ontarian parents feel pressure to have their children be vaccinated from the school, doctors or society in general.
Most Ontarian parents understand that their danger of infectious diseases outweighs their concerns about the vaccines. Still it is a personal debate of "science vs. sentiment" for parents when dealing with their fears of the medical procedure.
The new poll data found that parents' fear factors include:
* The "what if" factor that something could go wrong (34 per cent)
* Alleged links to other diseases (25 per cent)
o Thirty two per cent of parents with children under the age of two cite this as a concern
* Parents' not wanting to give their children medication they don't need (24 per cent)
* Hurting their children was of particular concern for parents aged 18 to 35 (11 per cent)
* Feeling their baby "is too young for those needles" (14 per cent of parents with children under two)
* Having more confidence in the vaccines that have been used for decades versus some of the new immunizations (71 per cent)
(from a press release)
In Canada children have 13 vaccines that are required; Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal disease, Meningococcal disease and Influenza.
"Feeling over-protective or worried is normal, but the reality is vaccines are among the safest tools of modern medicine," reminds Jan Kasperski, chief executive officer of The Ontario College of Family Physicians. "Parents need to talk to their children's doctors about the myths and facts about immunization. They shouldn't just rely on what they're reading online."