Are first-time moms more likely to immunize their kids?
First-time mothers are more likely to follow the recommended childhood immunization schedule because they have positive beliefs about vaccinations, according to a study published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
About 75 percent of new mothers said they wanted their child to receive all vaccinations consistent with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, researchers said.
“New mothers are starting to do more of their own research and are finding out important information about vaccinations,” says Dr. Shelly Amuh, hospitalist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “There is a lot of good information from the CDC about vaccination schedules so that parents know the information ahead of time.”
Around 200 new mothers in their second trimester were interviewed between June and September 2014. When they were questioned about vaccines, most said that their primary care physician failed to give them the proper information.
About 33 percent of participants interviewed told researchers their obstetrician gave them the information they needed, but only 50 percent were satisfied with the information provided, according to the study. About 70 percent also said they were not familiar with the recommended vaccine schedule or a number of the common vaccines.
“Most of the moms-to-be indicated they were interested in information on childhood vaccines, but many were not actively looking for such information,” said Glen Nowak, co-author of the study and director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at the University of Georgia, in a news release.
The CDC reported that 90 percent of children under 3 years old were vaccinated last year against mumps, rubella, chicken pox, polio and measles. Around 71 percent also received multiple shots for diseases such as DTap, which is recommended for children younger than 7 years old to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis).
Researchers also noted that improved access to vaccine information from health care professionals could foster better vaccine-related knowledge and favorably impact vaccination decisions in the future.
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