Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
In Reply: Dr Davies addresses the issue of
the motivation of those choosing not to vaccinate and how to communicate with
them. This is a complex topic, and was beyond the scope of our study. Halperin1 outlined 5 categories of parents concerned about
vaccine risk, from "uninformed but educable" to "committed and missionary,"
the latter on a campaign to persuade others of the evils of vaccines. Our
experience agrees with Halperin that little is usually accomplished by trying
to persuade those who perceive vaccines as being entirely evil; however, many
parents will respond to listening and empathy. Very often misinformation can
be corrected, and even very resistant parents will respond to being allowed
some small degree of control, such as delaying some vaccinations by a few
months. Some excellent resources about communicating about vaccine safety
issues are available from the Canadian Immunization Awareness Program
(http://www.immunize.cpha.ca/english/resourc2.htm#providers) and the
Immunization Action Coalition (http://www.immunize.org/genr.d/vaxsafe.htm).
Wolfe RM, Sharp LK, Lipsky MS. Antivaccination Web SitesAntivaccination Web Sites. JAMA. 2002;288(14):1717-1718. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1717