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    Reasons parents forgo vaccines for children differ among income levels

    Posted On : September 22, 2014
    Some high-income mothers turn to breastfeeding as an alternative to vaccinating their children.

    According to new research published in the journal Gender & Society, the reasons why parents may not vaccinate their children can differ depending on their income levels. When it comes to households within the higher income brackets, the reasons often have ties to class privilege.

    To get a better idea about parents' attitudes toward immunization, a researcher from the University of Colorado Denver conducted interviews with several mothers regarding their thoughts on vaccines. The study author observed that those from higher-income backgrounds who refused to inoculate their children prefer to do their own medical research and, when possible, will resort to alternative methods for protecting their children, such as breastfeeding, nutrition and travel.

    As for lower-income households, parents may forgo vaccines if they cannot afford them. Taken together, these trends are fueling the resurgence of several infectious diseases, and children who do not get vaccinated are the most vulnerable.

    "Those who can reject vaccines without health risks are able to do so because they are protected by the large portion of the population who is vaccinated," study author Jennifer Reich said in a statement. "Upper-class parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids understand that they could be putting others at risk, but reiterated that their own children are their primary responsibility and suggest other mothers should advocate for their own children."

    Other data show that about 3 in 1,000 children in the U.S. have not received any vaccines.

    Recently, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health revealed that there is an inverse relationship between the restrictiveness of state laws for obtaining nonmedical exemptions from immunization and the incidence of pertussis. This underscores the importance of educating all families about vaccines.


    Nonmedical exemptions from vaccination are driving a resurgence in infectious diseases that immunization had rendered rare. Health departments that turn to TransactRx for their medical billing needs can focus more of their attention on educating people in their communities about the importance of potentially life-saving vaccines.

    Categories:  Health Department News