"Shot-limiting," a new vaccination "strategy" (which looks suspiciously like a not-getting-vaccinations strategy), is gaining popularity in Oregon and worrying doctors, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. The idea is that parents limit the number of shots their children receive in a single doctor visit, in order to spare little patients the pain and trauma of multiple injections. Apparently they'd prefer to deal with the pain and trauma of whooping cough. Good work, everyone!
Researchers in Oregon found that the number of parents in that state who opted for shot-limiting has risen from 2.5% to 9.5% since 2006. Shot-limiting parents make sure their babies get only one or two injections per doctor visit, which requires them to make it to more doctor visits, and sometimes skip vaccines altogether. The problem is that once they deviate from the vaccination schedule they have huge trouble catching up again.
Okay, sure. Kids don't like getting shots, and early pediatric visits can require five or six of them in one go—but these are babies we're talking about. Babies don't know shit! I don't remember getting a single shot when I was three, and neither do you—but I definitely remember not dying of mumps. Anyhow, doctors are concerned:
The researchers said that delaying shots not only meant not getting vaccines on time, but that many shot-limiting children missed certain vaccines altogether.
"It's easy for a baby on this alternative schedule to fall behind and not catch up," said Steve Robison, the study's lead author. "And we found that these children fell behind and stayed behind."
..."A delay in vaccinating your children increases the amount of time they are susceptible to a number of diseases," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' chief health and medical editor. "This is a clear indication of where the anti-science movement is having an impact."
At least—AT LEAST—shot-limiting parents are still giving their children some of the recommended vaccinations. But, doctors stress, not vaccinating your kids is "not a theoretical risk anymore." It's a very concrete risk, for your children and the children your children play with. The reason you don't hear about whooping cough and measles anymore isn't because they've been wiped off the face of the earth—it's because they've been kept at bay by vaccinations. Your kid, like every other kid in the history of kids, will recover from a few childhood pokes.
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