Despite concerns, most parents get their kids vaccinated

Parents worry about the safety of vaccines for their children even though most go ahead and have their kids immunized, researchers reported Thursday.

The theory that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders has been debunked by numerous scientific studies. On Wednesday, three papers were published that point to genetic mutations as the cause of autism. However, in a new survey published in the journal Health Affairs, only 23% of parents said they had no concerns about vaccines. Most parents reported at least one question or concern. The fear of autism was cited by some parents.

The survey, conducted among 376 parents of one or more children under the age of 6, found that 83% of parents had already had their children vaccinated with all the recommended vaccines and that 11% planned to do so. Five percent said their children would receive only some of the vaccinations, and 2% said their children would receive none of the recommended vaccines. (The total exceeds 100% because of rounding.)

Among the most common questions parents have is whether their children get too many shots at one visit or before the age of 2, how painful the shots are and whether the vaccines contain unsafe ingredients.

Some parents wondered whether their kids are being vaccinated for diseases they were not likely to get and some questioned whether the vaccines were tested enough for safety.

Although most kids do get vaccinated, more should be done to alleviate parents’ concerns and address their questions, said the authors of the study, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services National vaccine Program Office.

“Even if they are not associated with an intention to refuse some or all vaccines, concerns related to childhood vaccines are valid and need to be treated as such,” the authors wrote.

Related: Measles cases on the rise in U.S., a risk to unvaccinated infants

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