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Year in Review: Putting kids at risk

Parents lax on vaccinations

6:30am, December 24, 2013

FALLING BEHIND Kids in the U.S. are getting vaccinated later than doctors recommend.


The tenet that “doctor knows best” is taking a beating. U.S. parents increasingly are delaying their children’s vaccinations, basing such decisions on sources other than their pediatricians, researchers reported in 2013. Nearly half of U.S. babies born from 2004 to 2008 fell behind on at least one vaccination (SN: 2/23/13, p. 11).

Many parents cite concerns about the 23 shots babies now get in the first two years of life, says epidemiologist Jason Glanz of Kaiser Permanente in Denver. “You can see the parents’ perspective,” he says.

Vaccination schedules have been fine-tuned to protect children at a vulnerable age, doctors point out, but they

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