ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Thirteen percent of U.S. parents don't follow the recommended vaccination schedule for their children, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks, a survey says.
Dr. Amanda Dempsey, a member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, said the survey involved 771 U.S. parents of children ages 6 months to 6 years.
The survey, conducted in May 2010 and published online ahead of the print issue of the journal Pediatrics, indicated 13 percent of parents reported deviating from the recommendations, and 2 percent refused all vaccines.
"Small decreases in vaccine coverage are known to lead to dramatic increases in the risk of vaccine preventable disease outbreaks," Dempsey said in a statement. "Not following the recommended schedule leaves kids at risk for these diseases unnecessarily."
Forty-one percent of the parents who deviated from the recommendation vaccination schedule said they used an alternative schedule they developed themselves. Fifteen percent said they used a schedule from a friend and 8 percent reported using an alternative schedule developed by Dr. Bob Sears of AskDrSears.com, the survey said.
Measles-mumps-rubella was the most-delayed vaccine at 45 percent. Forty-three percent delayed the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine.
No survey details were provided.