Oregon parents increasingly and unwisely choosing alternative vaccination schedules for their children

The ABC News “Medical Unit” blog reports, “More and more parents in Oregon are choosing alternative vaccination schedules for their children, a practice known as shot-limiting, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Experts say the practice puts children and those around them at greater risk for disease.”

The MSNBC “Vitals” blog reports that researchers “examined the vaccination histories of children born in the Portland area between 2003 and 2009.”

The investigators found that “between 2006 and 2009, the number of parents who rejected government recommendations and made up their own vaccine schedules rose from 2.5 percent to 9.5 percent.”

Reuters quotes Steve Robison, the study’s lead author from the Oregon Immunization Program, as saying, “The problem that we saw is that these kids are getting fewer shots total and they’re not catching up.”

Robison added, “Parents and doctors don’t realize how easy it is for kids on alternative schedules to fall behind.”

HealthDay reports, “It’s unknown if the Portland area is reflective of the nation, but experts said there is likely a lot of variation across the country, depending on regional attitudes, socioeconomic status and other factors.”

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