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Managing AEFI and Vaccine Refusals

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Dr Kiran N Baliga, Mangalore    15 January 2018

  1. Top vaccine safety concerns of patients/families include autism; aluminum; pain of so many shots; apprehension over the number of the 2018 ‘vaccine-educated’ parents: They may be pro-vaccine for themselves, but object to it for infants/children; they may no longer believe in a vaccine-autism connection (or at least will not say so); they want “green” vaccines – pure, natural (with no additives).
  2. Parent concerns: General mistrust of scientific research/systems of care; my unvaccinated baby is “healthier” than vaccinated children (rosy cheeks).
  3. Pediatricians must listen first. Ask each family/parent what, if any, are their concerns about vaccines. Pre-empt resistance. Begin at the first visit letting the family know proactively your position as a doctor in strong support of vaccines for their child.
  4. Let them know the websites you trust about vaccines.
  5. Share with them if you vaccinate your own child/niece/nephew.
  6. Use stories rather than theories. Focus on the diseases that are still seen and tell stories about children who did not get vaccines.
  7. Engage the media. It has an important role in educating the general public, the medical community and the policy makers.
  8. Overcome the barriers of lack of time, space and knowledge by making yourself available, providing accurate and up-to-date information and being professional.
  9. Vaccination is the top public health achievement of the 20th century.

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