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More than 1 in 10 parents skip, delay kids' shots

October 03, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) — The government recommends that by age 6, children should be vaccinated against 14 diseases, in at least two doses.

But a national survey finds more than 1 in 10 parents reject that advice. They're refusing some shots for their children or delaying others mainly because of safety concerns.

Worries about vaccine safety were common even among parents whose kids were fully vaccinated: 1 in 5 among that group said they think delaying shots is safer than the recommended schedule. The results suggest more than 2 million infants and young children may not be fully protected against preventable diseases, including some that can be deadly or disabling.

The nationally representative online survey of roughly 750 parents of kids age 6 and younger was done last year and results were released online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

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Study author Dr. Amanda Dempsey, a pediatrician, said vaccine skepticism is fueled by erroneous information online and media reports that sensationalize misconceptions.

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