Following the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices schedule for vaccination is the best way to protect young children from preventable diseases. However, parents may not follow that schedule for a number of reasons. A new study examines just how many children aren’t receiving vaccines on a timely basis.
Following a unanimous vote by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a hexavalent vaccine with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis adsorbed, inactivated poliovirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate (meningococcal protein conjugate), and hepatitis B (HepB) (recombinant) has been included in the federal Vaccines for Children program.
Group B meningitis poses a serious health risk to children, but the disease is vaccine preventable. A recent study evaluated the efficacy of vaccination with the multicomponent meningococcal group B (4CMenB) vaccine in young children with positive results.
Discussing vaccination against influenza can go a few different ways. For parents who are either unconcerned with the influenza immunization or who had children who received it in previous seasons but still got influenza, a targeted, evidence-based patient education supported by the influenza immunization and hospitalization data could turn the tide.
To address the different fears motivating vaccine-hesitant parents versus antivaccine parents, one must understand the historical resistance to vaccination.
The anti-vaccination movement has led to large pockets of the country that are unvaccinated and vulnerable to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, but large-scale education could undo the damage.
The evidence is clear: Practitioners who fail to administer immunizations according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices schedules results in adverse outcomes for children and adolescents who are needlessly exposed to vaccine preventable diseases.
Clinicians must advocate for pediatric patients receiving immunomodulation therapies to also receive timely vaccinations for vaccine-preventable diseases.
The number of completely unvaccinated children may not be large, but they pose a challenge to the pediatric practice. A recent C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a sample of parents how their child’s primary care office deals with children who are completely unvaccinated and how they believe primary care offices should tackle the issue.
Preterm infants may face an increased risk for infections that are vaccine-preventable along with associated complications. A recent study indicates that preterm infants may also be at risk of not being vaccinated in a timely manner.