Is there an association between the use of complementary medicine and vaccine uptake: Results of a pilot study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Research Notes, 2018, 11 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Author(s). Objective: Despite the incredible success of paediatric immunisation, support is not universal. It has been suggested that complementary medicine practitioners enable vaccine rejection and his study aims to explore the relationship between complementary medicine use and paediatric vaccination. A total of 149 Australian parents were recruited via a parenting website and Facebook groups to complete an online questionnaire. Results: The majority of parents (66.4%) stated that their children's vaccination status was up-to-date. Vaccination status was associated with parental education, area of residence, income, private health insurance, and having a Health Care Card (p < 0.05). Children's vaccinations were more likely to be up-to-date if they had consulted a general practitioner in the previous 12 months (OR 21.75; p < 0.001), and less likely to be up-to-date if they had consulted a complementary medicine practitioner (OR 0.10; p < 0.001) in the same period. Concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy were the most common reasons for a child's immunisation status not being up-to-date. These findings highlight an interface between lower vaccine uptake and visits to complementary medicine practitioners. These results emphasise the need to examine the routine paediatric care practices of complementary medicine practitioners as a crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding vaccine rejection.
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