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Is there a best practice for educating pro vaccination?

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Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

BeachsideRN, ASN

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 7 years experience.

My problem with the anti vaccine argument is that it's almost always at the second round of MMR that the autism "hits". So what is different about the second one that the first didn't do - nothing. It's a timing thing. It just so happens that autistic symptoms emerge at that period of a child's life

I have a bunch of people on Facebook who are constantly posting anti vax news and how they are so terrible. There is no changing people who firmly believe these conspiracy theories. I used to say things but I just let it go anymore because no matter what I would say, I was wrong. After taking microbiology, I am more adamant than ever that vaccines are important, but I cannot change people's deeply held beliefs. Now if someone was trying to make the decision and was on the fence, I would give them all the info I could and back it up with evidence. Those are the people we need to target. Those who are deeply committed to their beliefs, we will not change.

I have a family member who is anti. Her biggest issue isn't the medical personal, it's the drug makers make mistakes and she no longer trusts them with her children. She agrees with vaccination, just not with what. Her first child had a bad reaction to it. And she didn't like the response from the medical community about it. After that, she no longer trusts and she questions. I get it.

On the flip side, I realize there are going to be those who have a bad reaction, etc. But those are rare and the numbers are worth it as a whole. But if my child was one of the negative numbers... then I would no longer be thinking with my logical mind about the greater good, etc, etc.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

I have a friend who is anti vaccine because she doesn't like the government telling her what to do. Her oldest received most, middle received some, youngest none. She has said in an outbreak she would likely do selective vaccination.

We just don't discuss vaccines

BeachsideRN, ASN

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 7 years experience.

I have a friend who is anti vaccine because she doesn't like the government telling her what to do. Her oldest received most, middle received some, youngest none. She has said in an outbreak she would likely do selective vaccination.

We just don't discuss vaccines

I have friends like this too. I don't let my child play with their kids. I think it's stupid for them not to vaccinate but to each their own. I think they shouldn't be allowed to play in public or have to pay fines/higher insurance premiums. It tees me off that I can be fined if my pet doesn't have a vaccine but kids are free to run around unvaccinated willy nilly.

This is a tough one. And as the OP pointed out, now is the time of completing a course of vaccinations. So I am to assume OP that you were not vaccinated as a child?

People choose to have different lifestyles. But there is more than one adult who is less than thrilled that they have to have all of their vaccinations--and have to delay plans (ie: clincals, travelling, college) to get a series of injections completed.

I swear if a group of nurses got together and made literature on vaccines, it may be better regarded. There are some people who see the word "government" in any part of literature, and instantly discount it.

In my experience, it is the unvaccinated children exposing themselves to infants who are too young to receive certain vaccines that seems to be an issue. And have had more than one days old infant on a vent with HIB pneumonia than I can tell you.

If parents won't respond to the literature, then perhaps to the reasoning of looking at the future--they are delaying the unavoidable fact that most schools require full vaccines, as do colleges. If they are going to travel to foriegn countries they need to be vaccinated. It may be looking far into the future, however, is it fair to then make an adult child have to make multiple trips to the MD office for a series of vaccinations?

Again, a tough one. Can talk until I am blue in the face, and some parents just don't want to listen to any reasoning. And most are fully vaccinated adults.

There is one answer, and that is that the original study that raised the possibility of a connection between autism and vaccines was seriously flawed, the British journal that originally published it has since withdrawn it and denounced the author and study, and multiple studies since then have found no connection. I have some understanding of desperate parents (my field is child psych), but beople who still are inclined to take this seriously are people who would rather believe celebrities and quacks than actual science, and what can you say to people like that?

They should do a study on children with autism whose parents are anti-vaccine, the child did not get any, and still are autistic.

There have been plenty of good studies already. The people who still aren't convinced are just not interested in what legitimate science has to say. It's not that there just haven't been enough studies yet; the problem is that they are unable or unwilling to distinguish between legitimate science and blatant quackery.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, jadelpn:

I'm age 51. While I received various vaccinations as a child, for the RN program I'm starting I needed to get a variety of vaccinations including ones I did not have (or remember having) as a child.

Thank you.

They should do a study on children with autism whose parents are anti-vaccine, the child did not get any, and still are autistic.

Already done....sorta. The study did not question the opinions of the parents, just whether the children in the study DID get the MMR or or did NOT get the MMR, and found a slightly elevated rate (statistically insignificant, but still noted) of autism among the NON-VACCINATED children.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It's a very well-received, well-documented and thoroughly NON-debunked study done in Denmark. Socialized medicine there allowed a study of a HUGE population of children --is half a million enough for everyone? And essentially it documented that whether or not a child received the recommended series of vaccinations, the kids were autistic at the same rate. And for those who were still too thick to see this, it WAS indicated that those who did not get the vaccines had a rate that was a teensy bit higher than those who did. Obviously the point was NOT to suggest that NOT getting vaccines caused autism (seriously, this had to be explained to people) it just showed zero causation for the vaccines and autism. It even gave the conspiracy theorists pause.

But pause was all. People have their own agendas regardless of fact. Propaganda history tells us that if you repeat something enough times, people do believe it to be true, regardless of validity.

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

Already done....sorta. The study did not question the opinions of the parents, just whether the children in the study DID get the MMR or or did NOT get the MMR, and found a slightly elevated rate (statistically insignificant, but still noted) of autism among the NON-VACCINATED children.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It's a very well-received, well-documented and thoroughly NON-debunked study done in Denmark. Socialized medicine there allowed a study of a HUGE population of children --is half a million enough for everyone? And essentially it documented that whether or not a child received the recommended series of vaccinations, the kids were autistic at the same rate. And for those who were still too thick to see this, it WAS indicated that those who did not get the vaccines had a rate that was a teensy bit higher than those who did. Obviously the point was NOT to suggest that NOT getting vaccines caused autism (seriously, this had to be explained to people) it just showed zero causation for the vaccines and autism. It even gave the conspiracy theorists pause.

But pause was all. People have their own agendas regardless of fact. Propaganda history tells us that if you repeat something enough times, people do believe it to be true, regardless of validity.

:yes: :up: :up:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021134#t=article

OP, the reason you will receive such a lukewarm reaction to your link (as well as to other questionable sources) isn’t because people have other opinions than the ones presented in your links. It’s because they are of dubious or rather non-existing scientific quality. Let me repeat this in a different way. We don’t reject this source because we disagree with the content, we reject it because we can deduce that their claims have no scientific foundation whatsoever.

Nurses are taught about the scientific process, we are supposed to practice evidence-based medicine (and nursing). We have to critically think about information presented to us, actively search for sources and understand how to interpret scientific studies.

Edited by macawake
adding two paragraphs

thank you, macawake, for the link :)

THAT's what I'm talkin' about!

So far there doesn't seem to be an effective strategy for combating the zealot like attitude of anti-vaccination folks.

Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial

I worked for years in an environment where I was responsible for immunization practice. Parents who were convinced that vaccines were evil were not going to "hear" anything that I said. So I gave them the canned printed info, acknowledged and documented their objections and moved on without any further discussion or effort.

I read the info in the link, and the bolded parts (my bolding) surprised me:

RESULTS: None of the interventions increased parental intent to vaccinate a future child. Refuting claims of an MMR/autism link successfully reduced misperceptions that vaccines cause autism but nonetheless decreased intent to vaccinate among parents who had the least favorable vaccine attitudes. In addition, images of sick children increased expressed belief in a vaccine/autism link and a dramatic narrative about an infant in danger increased self-reported belief in serious vaccine side effects.

Some of this just doesn't make sense to me! Bolding #1:Explaining there was no link between autism and the MMR decreased misperceptions but STILL resulted in a decreased incidence of vaccination. IOW, they accepted it didn't cause autism....but still wouldn't vaccinate.

And then bolding #2: Showing pictures of children who HAD Measles, Mumps or Rubella (something preventable with vaccination) somehow made the surveyed parents believe in an AUTISM link? DIDN'T get the shot (got sick instead) and they believe more assuredly in an autism link (even though they were NOT looking at autistic kids)?

And finally, bolding #3: being presented with the dangers of NOT vaccinating increased their belief in vaccine side effects. By learning about a kid who did NOT get the vaccine.

I swear, people really ARE idiots. There oughtta be a test to determine fitness for parenthood, and it would involve the ability to comprehend basic information on how to keep your kid safe, and what happens when you don't.

I read the info in the link, and the bolded parts (my bolding) surprised me:

RESULTS: None of the interventions increased parental intent to vaccinate a future child. Refuting claims of an MMR/autism link successfully reduced misperceptions that vaccines cause autism but nonetheless decreased intent to vaccinate among parents who had the least favorable vaccine attitudes. In addition, images of sick children increased expressed belief in a vaccine/autism link and a dramatic narrative about an infant in danger increased self-reported belief in serious vaccine side effects.

Some of this just doesn't make sense to me! Bolding #1:Explaining there was no link between autism and the MMR decreased misperceptions but STILL resulted in a decreased incidence of vaccination. IOW, they accepted it didn't cause autism....but still wouldn't vaccinate.

And then bolding #2: Showing pictures of children who HAD Measles, Mumps or Rubella (something preventable with vaccination) somehow made the surveyed parents believe in an AUTISM link? DIDN'T get the shot (got sick instead) and they believe more assuredly in an autism link (even though they were NOT looking at autistic kids)?

And finally, bolding #3: being presented with the dangers of NOT vaccinating increased their belief in vaccine side effects. By learning about a kid who did NOT get the vaccine.

I swear, people really ARE idiots. There oughtta be a test to determine fitness for parenthood, and it would involve the ability to comprehend basic information on how to keep your kid safe, and what happens when you don't.

I recently read an article about zealots and how they don't change their views after being exposed to facts, rather they "double down" when confronted with factual information that conflicts with their perceptions and beliefs. It is an interesting phenomenon that we see played out in the political arena here in America every day.