Many Pediatricians OK With Alternative Vaccine Schedules

Pediatricians least willing to consider ACIS for H. influenza type b, DTaP, pneumococcal conjugate

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians in Washington State are frequently asked to use alternative childhood immunization schedules (ACISs), and the majority are comfortable using them, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in Pediatrics.

Aaron Wightman, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues investigated the frequency of parents' requests for ACISs and pediatricians' comfort with and willingness to use ACISs, among Washington State primary care pediatricians. Data were collected using an Internet-based survey on ACISs, and responses from 209 pediatricians were included. The frequency of parents' requests for ACISs, pediatricians' comfort with their use, and pediatricians' willingness to use ACISs for individual vaccines were the main outcomes measured.

The investigators found that 77 percent of pediatricians reported that parents occasionally or often requested ACISs, and, if asked by a parent, 61 percent of pediatricians were comfortable using an ACIS. Pediatricians were least willing to contemplate an ACIS for specific vaccines, such as diphtheria-tetanus toxoids-acellular pertussis vaccine, Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Compared to pediatricians in a one- or two-physician practice, those practicing in a neighborhood or community clinic were less comfortable using ACISs (odds ratio, 0.10).

"Parents frequently request ACISs from Washington State pediatricians. Most pediatricians are comfortable using ACISs if requested, although they are less willing to use ACISs for certain vaccines," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to a pharmaceutical company.

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