By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: October 20, 2011
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner
BOSTON — The value of childhood vaccination is less apparent to younger doctors than to their older counterparts, a researcher said here.
In a cross-sectional survey of 551 healthcare providers, more recent graduates were less likely to think that vaccines were efficacious, according to Saad Omer, MBBS, PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta.
They were also more likely to have doubts about the safety of some vaccines, Omer told reporters at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Overall, however, the physicians who took part in the survey remained highly supportive of childhood vaccines, Omer told MedPage Today, with nearly 90% agreeing that vaccines are getting better and safer.
“What we picked up were relative differences – relative, subtle, but important differences,” he said.
The findings are significant because doctors are one of the most powerful influences on parental decisions about vaccination, he said.
They signal “a potentially important change in immunization beliefs in the new generation of providers, compared with their older counterparts,” he and co-author Michelle Mergler, MHS, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, argued in their poster presentation.
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