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Most U.S. Kids Get Recommended Vaccines

Although nearly all American children get the recommended vaccinations to prevent serious diseases, many parents express concerns about the shots, and a small number refuse to have their kids vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 95 percent of parents report that their children have (or will) received all the vaccinations, which was a record high, a 2010 survey found. However, about 5 percent of parents said they would decline some vaccines, and 2 percent said their little ones would receive no vaccines, the researchers said.

Parents with questions about vaccinations should ask their doctors need information on the value and safety record of vaccines so parents can make informed decisions.

Recent outbreaks of mumps, measles and whooping cough show that these deadly diseases still exist.

While 23 percent of the parents said they had no concerns about vaccines, most had one or more concerns, the researchers found. Parents mentioned pain from the injection, getting too many shots at one time and the safety of ingredients in the vaccines.

Some parents also worried that vaccines could cause disease or are being given for illnesses children are unlikely to get, the investigators found. Parents who said their kids would not get all the recommended vaccinations were likely to think too many vaccines are given in the first two years of life or that vaccines can cause learning difficulties, especially autism. The autism theory has been widely refuted.

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June 2011