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    Study: Safety, components concerns spur vaccine hesitancy

    Great strides in disease prevention have been made through immunization, yet some still question the purpose and safety of vaccination.

    In an Australian study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, researchers analyzed 1,342 calls relating to concerns about vaccines. Researchers found that the majority of calls—60.4%—were about vaccine safety, and 31.6% involved concerns over the ingredients found in vaccines. Differences in call types were found between low- and high-vaccination areas. Overall, however, more calls about vaccines came from high-vaccination areas. In low-vaccination areas, there were more concerns about the preservatives, specifically mercury and thiomersal, despite the fact that they were removed from vaccines in Australia in 2000.

    In regard to specific vaccine concerns, callers were most concerned about the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Callers also cited a lack of information about the vaccines (54%), information presented through a ”second opinion” (21%), conflicting information about vaccines (9%), and symptoms related to vaccines (6%) as cause for concern.

    The results of the study illustrate the need for better education about vaccines, the ingredients of those vaccines, and expected side effects, according to the report.

    Next: The lesson for physicians

    Rachael Zimlich, RN
    Ms Zimlich is a freelance writer in Cleveland, Ohio. She writes regularly for Contemporary Pediatrics, Managed Healthcare Executive, and ...

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