Vaccine Hesitancy: Strategies to Support Primary Care Providers
Continuing Medical Education (CME) Event November 2019
Many people have forgotten the consequences of childhood diseases like polio, tetanus and measles because of the success of vaccines. Now parents are more likely to fear the consequence of the vaccine than appreciate what it protects their children against. Rebuilding and sustaining public trust in vaccines is an ongoing objective for all health care providers.
- Immunization Update, by Dr. V. Dubey
- Practical toolkit to address vaccine hesitancy in primary care, by Dr. V. Dubey
- Addressing health care providers as a source of vaccine hesitancy, Dr. S. Moss
- Communicating about vaccines: A journalist’s view, by Carly Weeks
A full recording of the webcast is now available. To view, use the following password: 11vaccine19
Below is follow-up information requested by the event participants.
You cannot refuse to keep a patient in your practice if they refuse to vaccinate their children.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has the following policy document: Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship;
It states: “Circumstances where physicians must not end the physician-patient relationship. Physicians must respect patient autonomy with respect to lifestyle, healthcare goals, and treatment decisions, and not end the physician-patient relationship solely because the patient does not follow advice (for example, with respect to smoking cessation, drug or alcohol use, or the patient’s decision to refrain from being vaccinated or vaccinating his/her children).”
Parental consent related to joint custody
At Toronto Public Health, we wait until both parents can consent before providing vaccines in these situations. Students who are old enough to consent on their own (i.e. can provide their own informed consent as per the Health Care Consent Act) do not require parental consent.
- Be non-judgemental.
- Be presumptive that a child will be vaccinated.
- Never dismiss a child from practice.
- Set aside time to counsel parents.
- Use every visit as an opportunity to discuss vaccines.
- Validate parental concerns and correct misconceptions.
- Discuss the benefits and risk of vaccines versus risk of diseases.
- Frame data clearly and positively.
Adapted with permission from the Canadian Paediatric Society: Working with Vaccine-Hesitant Parents: An Update Sept. 14, 2018.
- Addressing vaccine hesitancy: Clinical guidance for primary care physicians working with parents. (Shixin (Cindy) Shen and Vinita Dubey. Canadian Family Physician. March 2019, 65(3) 175-181)
It can feel overwhelming when patients question our recommendations. However, your patients look to you for trusted advice. We are here to help. Have questions? Ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read. Learn. Understand. A Parent’s Decision to Immunize (Immunize Canada)
- Working with vaccine-hesitant parents (Canadian Pediatric Society)
- Addressing vaccine hesitancy (Canadian Family Physician)
- A toolkit to address vaccine hesitancy – to be posted shortly (Ontario Medical Association)
- A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination (in multiple languages) (Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Making the Vaccine Decision: Addressing Common Concerns (US Centres for Disease Control)
- If You Choose Not to Vaccinate Your Child, Understand the Risks and Responsibilities (US Centres for Disease Control)
- The Personal Belief Exemptions for Vaccination Put People at Risk. Examine the Evidence for Yourself. (Immunization Action Coalition (USA))
- Reliable Sources of Immunization Information: Where Parents Can Go to Find Answers! (Immunization Action Coalition)