Photo: Getty Images
Questions concerning the safety of children's vaccines are not a new thing. They began to surface a few decades ago.
There seems to be two camps, with one in favor of vaccination and one against. It can be hard to know what, and who, to believe.
Many parents worry about their children's safety. Some allegations about immunizations are pretty overwhelming, as the specters of autism, ADHD, or brain damage loom.
In some respects, parents hit a dead end in the information exchange because they don't know who they can trust. And when parents don't trust what they hear from the medical community, their kids are less likely to get vaccinated.
Not when parents fear their child is at risk of autism, brain dysfunction or death. Not when parents don't trust the messenger.
Most of these parents are not irresponsible. Quite the contrary. It would be easier to go with the flow and yield to the pressure.
But when you're not sure whether what you're doing to your child is safe or poses a hazard ... and when you're not sure who to trust ... that's living between a rock and a hard place.
The medical community in its turn is concerned about this disconnect. Some are striving to bridge the credibility gap. They want to understand the disenchanted and disenfranchised parents, then determine how best to respond to their concerns.
Despite the currents of uncertainty, most parents are having their kids vaccinated but many are uneasy about it, according to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Program Office. This was reported in a June 9, 2011 article at Baltimoresun.com.
About one-quarter of parents surveyed had no worries about vaccinations. Another two percent would allow no immunizations. The remaining three-quarters were troubled about pain, too many shots in too short a time, ingredient safety, and possible adverse effects.
Researchers concluded that more needs to be done to answer parents' questions and to inform more effectively as to the reasons for immunizations, and possible health consequences of declining them.