Delayed immunization could boost disease risk
As the resistance to vaccines that emerged in the public consciousness a decade ago appears to subside, another public health problem is emerging in the form of delayed vaccination. A new study suggests that half of U.S. babies don’t get routine vaccinations on time, some of them because parents put off the shots. The delay rate has climbed since 2004, researchers report January 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Scientists reviewed medical records and found that one-eighth of these delays were intentional as parents defied immunization schedules set out by health authorities. Other parents may have inadvertently missed vaccinations or had lapses in insurance coverage, the study authors say.
Some parents see the bunching of recommended vaccinations as risky and try to space out their children’s shots, says study coauthor Jason Glanz, an epidemiologist at the Institute for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente in Denver. Delays in vaccination,