A wave of disinformation in recent years has overwhelmed some otherwise thoughtful parents, prompting them to decline standard vaccinations for their children. But a recent study gives hope that wiser minds still prevail.
According to University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, nearly 3 in 4 parents would remove their child from a day-care facility if other children there are unvaccinated. And more than 4 in 10 say kids who are “under-vaccinated” should be excluded from day care.
As explained in a news release from the university, all states require vaccines for children who attend day care, but the requirements might not include every recommended vaccine from birth to age 5. So some children still don’t receive all of those vaccines, which means day-care providers and parents must decide for themselves what to do about children in their child’s midst who aren’t up-to-date on all of their vaccines.
Some of the results from the national survey of parents with children as old as 5:
- 74 percent agreed or strongly agreed that children’s immunization status should be reviewed every year to ensure they are up-to-date;
- 74 percent would consider removing their child from a day-care facility where 1 in 4 kids weren’t up-to-date on vaccines;
- percent that supported excluding children from a day-care facility who hadn’t gotten all vaccines: 41; percent that would allow a grace period for getting vaccinated: 28; percent that would insist on a doctor’s waiver for an unvaccinated child: 21; percent that would allow an unvaccinated child to attend a day-care facility: 10;
- percent that say they should be informed of how many children at their day-care facility who aren’t up-to-date on vaccines: 66; percent who say the unvaccinated children should be named: 25.
Although the study “mirrors the national statistics that show approximately 25% of preschool children in the United States are not fully vaccinated,” according to Sarah J. Clark, associate director of the poll and a research scientist in the university’s department of pediatrics, the results “indicate that most parents want strong policies around making sure children in day care are up-to-date on vaccines. Checking vaccination records every year is beyond the scope of many state requirements, and may represent a significant change in practice at many day cares.”
Because the poll shows that parents want to know how many children lack vaccines, Clark believes that such 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.
“… Parents should feel empowered to ask about day-care vaccination policies, such as how the day-care handles the situation of children who are not up-to-date, and whether they check children’s vaccination status every year.”
To learn more about children’ vaccines, see our blogs here.