The great divide between anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers might not be as wide as we’ve come to believe. At least, that’s what a study by Dr. Sara Lee and her team at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital suggests.
“There are differing levels of vaccine acceptance,” Lee says.
In fact, more than 20 percent of the 316 participating parents changed their minds about vaccinating their children after talking with their pediatricians. Participants changed their minds both ways — people intending to vaccinate eventually decided against it just as frequently as those initially opposed opted in.
Lee says she won’t be able to draw conclusions as to why until after conducting further research. Does how the information is presented matter? Are people just listening to what others in their community are saying?
But she does know one thing: “Trust in the provider helps with vaccine acceptance,” she says.
This is especially important when it comes to those who fall into what Lee dubs “the middle group.”
There aren’t just two camps people fall into when it comes to vaccines. For example, someone may refuse only a specific vaccine or forgo a shot, only to accept it at the next visit. People in this middle-range should talk to their doctors when they have concerns about vaccines because they have the potential to change their minds.
“Your doctor is definitely the best source of information about vaccines,” Lee says. “Your physician or provider has spent a lot of time learning and studying about vaccines. We’re constantly refreshing the information that we know.”