First-time mothers in Sydney, Australia, are increasingly hesitant to vaccinate their children, according to a study released Friday.
The study said that nearly half of all first-time mothers had concerns over vaccinating their children.
The study conducted by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute found that only 73 percent of mothers they surveyed had decided to vaccinate their children by the time they ready to give birth, while just under 90 percent of mothers who already had children were sure about vaccinating their children.
Lead author on the study Margie Danchin told Xinhua on Friday that the results of the study were "concerning", especially considering the vast difference between first-time mothers and those who were more experienced.
"It really highlights the fact that first-time mums are often facing this question about vaccines for the first time for their kids, and that they are really perplexed by it, and have concerns," Danchin said.
A particular worry is the rise of the anti-vaccination movement, or "anti-vaxxers", who spread misinformation about vaccines, with a doctor in Melbourne, John Piesse, recently being forced to stop practicing medicine in August after speaking at a forum and bragging about helping mothers avoid getting vaccinations for their newborn children.
Danchin believed that these anti-vax groups can be "very vocal", causing parents to question the conclusive scientific evidence showing that vaccinations are necessary to protect children at the developmental stages of their lives.
"(Those groups) make parents doubt the science, and certainly get parents to question what information is reputable and what they should trust. So I think it's truly the job of us as strong vaccine advocates to provide parents with suitable clear information," Danchin said.
"We really want to target the healthcare providers in pregnancy, so predominantly midwives in the public health setting, but also obstetricians - because this study will not only be about childhood vaccinations."
"We also need to address maternal vaccines, and that's flu and whooping cough for the mothers, as well as the vaccines for children after birth,"
"So, we want to try and normalised these vaccines discussions in pregnancy so that we know they will occur, and support midwives in particular who have these conversations," she added.
Only two thirds of the mothers that were assessed as part of the study felt that they were given adequate information regarding vaccines during their pregnancy.
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