Sir.—When I began my practice as a pediatrician in 1977, immunizations were accepted as routine. No parent had any deep-seated anxieties about the need for them. A great deal has changed since then. I now often have to explain to parents why the vaccines were developed, the consequences of non vaccination, and the relative risk of a severe vaccine-related injury.
Some parents have not been able to deal with the more abstract consequences of nonvaccination vs the very concrete administration of a potentially (albeit minimal) damaging injection. As a result, an increasing number are refusing the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine adsorbed (DTP vaccine) as well as
other vaccines. In addition, the increasing cost of the DTP vaccine ($3.75 in 1979 vs $171 now) has made it more difficult for young parents to afford these immunizations for their children.
I do not think that Mr Kitch,1