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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Dec;9(12):2661-2. doi: 10.4161/hv.26284. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Provider dismissal of vaccine-hesitant families: misguided policy that fails to benefit children.

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Department of Pediatrics; University of Washington School of Medicine; Seattle, WA USA; Department of Health Services; University of Washington School of Public Health; Seattle, WA USA; Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics; Seattle Children's Research Institute; Seattle, WA USA.


Some health care providers have adopted the policy of refusing to accept into their practices families who refuse to vaccinate their children according to the standard vaccine schedule. While the frustration that drives these policies is understandable, the practice of refusing to see these families is misguided. Such a strategy does not benefit the child or the health of the community, and may have a negative impact on both. Physicians represent the best opportunity to influence the vaccine-hesitant parent, but only if physicians are willing to care for these families will that be possible. Maintaining a relationship of open communication and trust remains the best strategy for addressing the problem of parental vaccine hesitancy.


immunization; parental decision-making; vaccination; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine refusal

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