Children Who Received Some Forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Care Less Likely to be Vaccinated for Flu

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Elk Grove Village, IL–(ENEWSPF)–October 3, 2016.  U.S. children who have used certain forms of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) that may put them in contact with CAM providers documented as being vaccine-hesitant are less likely to receive influenza vaccinations, according to a new study published in the November 2016 Pediatrics.

The study, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Influenza Vaccine Uptakein U.S. Children,” published online Oct. 3, analyzed data on 9,000 children between ages 4 and 17 provided by the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. The percentages of those who had ever had a form of complementary or alternative medicine were: 62 percent had used multi-vitamins or minerals; 3.8 percent had used an alternative medical system, such as acupuncture; 7.6 percent had used a biologically-based therapy such as herbal supplements; 7.3 percent had used a manipulative and body-based therapy, such as chiropractic manipulation; and 5.3 percent had used a mind-body therapy, such as yoga. Overall, 43 percent of all children in the sample had received an influenza vaccine in the prior 12 months. Children who had used any type of alternative medical system or any type of manipulative and body-based therapy, however, had lower odds of flu vaccination in the previous 12 months compared to those who had never used those types of non-conventional healthcare. There were no significant differences for children who had used the other three categories of non-conventional care.

The authors conclude there is an opportunity for medical professionals and educators to improve vaccine uptake by better engaging with complementary and alternative health providers and their patients.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit