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Most Doctors Perceive Benefits of Vaccines for Children Program

Eighty-six percent of pediatricians report participating in VFC and most have never considered stopping

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Most pediatricians report that the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) has high perceived benefits, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Pediatrics.

Sean T. O’Leary, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues conducted an electronic and mail survey from June to September 2017 among 372 pediatricians to examine VFC program participation and perceived burden versus benefit of participation.

The researchers found that 86 percent of pediatricians reported currently participating in the VFC; 85, 10, and 5 percent of those reported never having considered stopping, having considered stopping but not seriously, and having seriously considered stopping, respectively. Of the 47 pediatricians who had considered no longer participating, difficulty meeting VFC record-keeping requirements, concern about action by the VFC for noncompliance, and unpredictable VFC vaccine supplies were the most commonly reported reasons (74, 61, and 59 percent, respectively). On a scale of −5 (high burden) to +5 (high benefit), participating pediatricians rated their overall perception of the VFC as +4 or +5 (63 percent), +1 to +3 (23 percent), 0 (5 percent), and −1 to −5 (9 percent).

“Pediatricians perceive that the benefits of VFC participation strongly outweigh the burdens,” the authors write. “Pediatricians’ perception of the benefit versus burden of VFC participation should continue to be monitored, and perceived burdens should be addressed when feasible.”

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