Vaccine Experts: It’s Time to ‘Nudge’ Hesitant Parents

Vaccine Experts: It’s Time to ‘Nudge’ Hesitant Parents

Source: The Seattle Times

A growing measles outbreak linked to the Disneyland theme park has spurred action in Washington state and elsewhere to crack down hard on parents who don’t vaccinate their children. But experts who’ve studied the contentious issue worry such efforts could backfire. A 2014 study by Dartmouth University researchers suggested that repeated pro-vaccine messages from public-health officials can actually create more resistance to immunization, not less. “My fear is that in the long run, it may end up backfiring,” Omer added. Instead, it might be better to “nudge” parents into compliance rather than penalizing them. That’s a concern echoed by Dr. Doug Opel, a pediatrician and assistant professor of bioethics and pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s, who has researched vaccine-use issues extensively.

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Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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