A new national survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital shows the extent of parental pushback on the subject of vaccine refusal among children in daycare:
- 81% of parents surveyed agree that children who attend daycare centers should be vaccinated.
- 74% of parents believe that daycare providers should be required to review children’s immunization records every year in order to ensure they are up-to-date.
- 66% of parents think they should be told the number of children in their daycare center who are not fully immunized. And 25% of these parents want the names of those who are not up-to-date.
- 41% of parents surveyed feel that children who are not completely immunized should be excluded from the daycare until they are vaccinated; 28% believe they should be given a grace period and be allowed to attend while catching up; and 21% would accept a physician’s waiver documenting a medical contraindication to vaccines. Only 10% of parents would allow daycare attendance regardless of immunization status.
- 74% of parents would remove their own children from daycare if they learned that 1 in 4 children in their daycare center were not up-to-date.
The scenario where 25% of preschool children are not immunized on time is actually the national reality. And most parents who have children in daycare or preschool don’t know it. According to Sarah J. Clark, the poll’s director:
“Our poll finding that parents want to know the number of children lacking vaccines makes sense,” says Clark. “That information might help parents understand the risk that their child could contract a vaccine-preventable disease – or transmit the disease to a vulnerable family member, such as a person with cancer.
“The bottom line is this poll shows that parents of young children have real concerns about whether vaccination standards are upheld in the daycare setting. Parents should feel empowered to ask about daycare vaccination policies, such as how the daycare handles the situation of children who are not up-to-date, and whether they check children’s vaccination status every year.”
Even Dr. William Sears, the California pediatrician who a few years ago came up with the cockamamie idea of splitting vaccines (given one at a time) — which is supported neither by evidence-based science nor common sense — has heard enough from parents who don’t immunize their children:
The great majority of patients in our pediatric practice are fully immunized, but we do see an occasional family who chooses not to vaccinate their children. Though I respect this decision, I don’t agree with it. I encourage parents to get all the immunizations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
I don’t want to see history repeat itself and that’s why I support the current immunization program. Infants and children are much healthier because of it.