MINEOLA - The results of a recent survey indicate that parents across the country are increasingly asking pediatricians to delay giving vaccines to their young children.
A national survey of more than 500 pediatricians and family doctors inquired about parents who wanted to postpone shots recommended for children younger than 2 years old. A total of 93 percent of responding doctors said they've been asked by parents to delay vaccines. Of those, 37 percent said they often or always agreed to do so.
Dr. John Zaso, an East Meadow pediatrician, says he doesn't believe in spacing out vaccines unless a child has an acute illness at the time. "I've actually had patients leave the practice because I was hounding them so much, but I'm protecting my other patients here," he says.
But doctors at CPC in Mineola believe that patients can space out their children's vaccines if they feel comfortable doing so. Dr. Rosanna Polsinelli and Dr. Luisa Castiglia say parents often come in with their own opinions about vaccines from what they've read on the Internet. They say it's up to pediatricians to help ease parents’ concerns.
'"I think as physicians we need to take an extra five minutes and find out why they're afraid," Dr. Castiglia says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children should be vaccinated for 14 diseases before they're 6 years old, which comes out to about 29 shots. Most of those are given within the first 18 months of the child's life.