Washington: Kids, whose parents say no to varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, are more prone to develop the disease, according to a new study. The study said that routine childhood immunizations have reduced illness and death related to a wide variety of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Among the 133 children who developed chickenpox, seven (5 percent) had parents who refused the varicella vaccine, compared with three (0.6 percent) refusals among the 493 controls. "Compared with vaccine acceptors, children of vaccine-refusing parents had a nine-fold increased risk of varicella illness. Overall, 5 percent of varicella cases in the study population were attributed to vaccine refusal. We believe these results will be helpful to health care providers and parents when discussing decisions about immunizing children," wrote the authors. The findings suggest that if more parents refuse vaccines, the incidence of varicella and related complications also may increase over time, especially among individuals at high risk of severe infection (such as pregnant women, infants and those with compromised immune systems), the authors note. "These results provide evidence to counter the misperception among some parents that unvaccinated children are not at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases," they concluded.The study has been published in the current issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.ANI
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