Your Pediatrician May Be Playing Vaccine 'Mind Games' With You

mom with baby and doctor

Your pediatrician agrees to your wishes to delay your child's vaccinations -- or even skip them entirely. You think it's so cool that you've found such an amenable partner in your child's health and development. Just be aware, she's probably duping you big time. According to an eye-opening new study, most doctors give in to parents' delayed immunization requests even when they think they are dead wrong.

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While the CDC supports a schedule that would immunize children against 14 diseases by the time they are 6 years old, many parents delay some shots (spacing them out over a longer period of time) because they believe it reduces the risk of autism and other auto-immune reactions that can lead to developmental delays. 

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According to the study in Pediatrics, most primary care doctors and pediatricians admitted that in any given month, an increasing number parents ask for a delayed immunization schedule for their children. No surprise there with all the attention vaccines and autism awareness have been getting in recent years. Nod to Jenny McCarthy.

But here's the bombshell. Of those same doctors, a clear majority -- 90 percent -- admitted that adopting this delayed schedule would put the children and community at risk for developing and re-introducing diseases, like the measles. Most shocking of all, 37 percent of doctors also admitted that they "often" or "always" agree to delay shots to please the parents, all the while secretly shaking their heads in disapproval.

These mind games are all part of a plan to build trust with the parents and keep them as patients so they can work on them and try to convince them to vaccinate on schedule. Sounds more like the type of reverse psychology mind games a parent plays on a toddler rather than the kind of honest relationship that parents demand and deserve from their children's doctors! 

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On top of that, 40 percent of pediatricians admit that vaccines and conversations with parents about vaccines are the worst part of their job. They take so much time and effort, and often take away from other important talks, like potty training.

Sure, that sucks for them, but these aren't their kids. And unfortunately dealing with parents who are only trying to do what they believe is best for their children is part of the job they signed up for -- fun or not. The bottom line is those scary mind games of if-I-tell-them-what-I-think-they'll-leave-me strugggle isn't good for anyone. That goes for the parents and the doctors. And especially the children.

Have you had the delayed immunization conversation with your doctor?

 

Image via Alliance/shutterstock

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