Vaccination 'Delayers' Placing Children At Risk Just Like 'Anti-Vaxxers'

Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children have been in the media over the past few weeks because of a measles outbreak in California.

Some of these so-called "anti-vaxxers" have come forward and defiantly refused to vaccinate their children based upon personal, religious or false medical views. Other "anti-vaxxers" force their children to play with kids who have measles in order to infect their offspring.

However, there is a larger and growing group of parents in America who will get their kids vaccinated, but on a delayed schedule for perceived safety reasons, noted the Wall Street Journal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends kids get vaccinated for a number of diseases by 15 months, an idea that scares the "delayers."

However, by not getting their kids vaccinated on this "herd" schedule with most children, these "delayers" are creating as much of a problem as the "anti-vaxxers" because it means measles and other diseases can spread via their kids.

Dr. Eric Ball, a pediatrician at Southern Orange County Pediatric Associates, told the Wall Street Journal that the idea that children cannot handle multiple vaccinations is ludicrous.

However, one of the most popular books advocating spacing out vaccinations, and even skipping some, is the "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Bob Sears.

Dr. Sears wrote in his 2007 book, "It's the best of both worlds of disease prevention and safe vaccination," noted Vox.com.

In his book, Dr. Sears pushed his theory that babies have underdeveloped immune systems, which may not be able to handle a high number of vaccines in a short period of time.

However, newborn babies are immediately attacked by bacteria and disease the moment they leave their mother's womb.

ScienceBlogs.com noted in 2014 that one of Dr. Sears' patients was part of a measles outbreak in in San Diego in 2008, but Dr. Sears seems to downplay measles outbreaks and blames the media for creating hysteria.

However, his theory does have followers. A National Institute of Health 2011 survey found that 13 percent of parents were following their own schedule of delayed vaccinations for supposed safety reasons.

"There is just no science to this," Dr. Doug Opel, a Seattle pediatrician, told Vox.com. "We immunize with this vaccine at this time because kids are most at risk at this point. They are most susceptible. What gets lost a lot of the time is that there's an incredible amount of data underlying the recommended schedule."

Sources: Wall Street Journal, ScienceBlogs.com, National Institute of Health, Vox.com, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Image Credit: Anti-Vaccination Society of America


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