The 'Panic Virus': Parents' hesitancy to vaccinate

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by DR. WENDY SUE SWANSON / Pediatrician

KING5.com

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 6:09 PM

While recent studies have not found a correlation between vaccinations and autism, some parents are still hesistant after a faulty study said otherwise.

Those concerns have been perpetuated by information on the internet, especially on social media sites.

On Tuesday, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson and author Seth Mnookin spoke at Town Hall Seattle about vaccine myths that continue to live online. Mnookin wrote the book The Panic Virus on the topic.

Vaccine hesitancy:

  • Many parents hesitate and worry about vaccine safety
  • However, only about 1 in 10 Americans delays a child’s vaccines
  • Not just young children, 1/3 of parents to teens hesitate
  • No great data on safety of delayed schedules

Pediatrics Study on Influence of Social Networks

  • ~200 Seattle parents surveyed
  • 126 followed the regular vaccine schedule (70 didn’t)
  • Social network: spouses, doctors, friends, professors and family
  • 88-90% of all listed a doctor in their top 5 social network
  • Strongest influencer for parents who delayed shots was someone concerned about vaccines in their social network

Related links:
How Social Networks Influence Parents’ Decision to Vaccinate
Seattle Mama Doc blog
Parents Hesitate on Teen Vaccines

More about Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson: Facebook | Twitter: @ | Read Her Blog

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