Vaccination practices among physicians and their children


The purpose of this study was to identify vaccination patterns of both general pediatricians and subspecialists with regards to their own children and projected progeny. A 14 question survey was sent randomly to 1000 members of the Academy of Pediatrics in 2009. Two categories of questions included 1) how physicians with children vaccinated them in the past, and 2) how all respondents would vaccinate a child in 2009. A comparison was made between the answers of general and specialty pediatricians. 582 valid questionnaires were received (58.2% response rate) of which 431 were general pediatricians and 151 subspecialists. No statistical difference was found between general and specialty pediatricians on how they vaccinated their children up until 2009 (95% vs 93%). When asked about vaccinating a future child, a significant proportion of respondents would deviate from CDC guidelines, specialists more than general pediatricians (21% vs 9%). Generalists were more likely to give a future child Hepatitis A (OR: 3.6; 95% CI 1.3 - 10.4), Rotavirus (OR: 2.2; 95% CI 1.1 - 4.4), Meningococcal (OR: 9.9; 95% CI 3.3-29.9), and influenza (OR: 5.4; 95% CI 1.1 - 26.7) vaccines. Specialists were more likely to postpone MMR vaccinetion (OR: 4.4 95% CI 2.3 - 8.6). Safety was listed by both groups as the most common reason for altering the recommended immunization schedule. Until 2009, general pediatricians and pediatric specialists have largely adhered to ACIP recommendations, but due to vaccine safety and other concerns, both groups, albeit a higher percentage of specialists, reported greater numbers willing to diverge from these recommendations.

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Martin, M. and Badalyan, V. (2012) Vaccination practices among physicians and their children. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2, 228-235. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2012.23036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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