Should doctors accept unvaccinated children as patients?
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Four in 10 parents say they are very or somewhat likely to move their child to a different provider if their doctor sees families who refuse all childhood vaccines, according to a new national poll.
Most American children receive recommended vaccines protecting them from dangerous illnesses like measles and whooping cough.
But doctors sometimes care for children whose parents refuse vaccines against providers’ recommendations. And that is not news many parents of vaccinated children want to hear, suggests the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.
Three in 10 parents polled say that their child’s primary care office should ask parents who refuse all vaccines to find another health provider.
“Pediatricians strive to keep children healthy through regular well-child care and this includes encouraging families to follow recommended vaccine schedules. When a family refuses all childhood vaccines, it puts providers in a challenging position,” says Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark, MPH.
“A completely unvaccinated child is unprotected against harmful and contagious diseases, such as measles, pertussis and chicken pox. Children who skip vaccines also pose a risk of transmitting diseases to other patients. This can be especially risky exposure for vulnerable populations, including infants…