Vaccine refusal received a lot of press with the 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak, but vaccine refusal is only a fraction of a much larger problem of vaccine delay and hesitancy. Opposition to vaccination dates back to the 1800s, Edward Jenner, and the first vaccine ever. It has never gone away despite the public's growing scientific sophistication. A variety of factors contribute to modern vaccine hesitancy, including the layperson's heuristic thinking when it comes to balancing risks and benefits as well as a number of other features of vaccination, including falling victim to its own success. Vaccine hesitancy is pervasive, affecting a quarter to a third of US parents. Clinicians report that they routinely receive requests to delay vaccines and that they routinely acquiesce. Vaccine rates vary by state and locale and by specific vaccine, and vaccine hesitancy results in personal risk and in the failure to achieve or sustain herd immunity to protect others who have contraindications to the vaccine or fail to generate immunity to the vaccine. Clinicians should adopt a variety of practices to combat vaccine hesitancy, including a variety of population health management approaches that go beyond the usual call to educate patients, clinicians, and the public. Strategies include using every visit to vaccinate, the creation of standing orders or nursing protocols to provide vaccination without clinical encounters, and adopting the practice of stating clear recommendations. Up-to-date, trusted resources exist to support clinicians' efforts in adopting these approaches to reduce vaccine hesitancy and its impact.
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