PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Our practice has experienced a marked increase in parents requesting to delay or decline vaccinations. This may be the result of appearances by celebrities claiming that vaccines harmed their children in some way. The physicians and staff of the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine firmly believe in the importance of vaccinations and the part they play in preventing serious and life-threatening illness. Immunizations are the cornerstone of preventative medicine, and our belief in their value is based on the most current literature, studies, and medical evidence. All of our vaccines are thimerosal- free, and have been for several years, even though this preservative has been found to be safe and not implicated in the development of autism.
We wholly endorse the schedule set for vaccinations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control. While we recognize and respect the parental role as the ultimate decision maker for their child’s healthcare, we strongly believe that we are obligated to deliver the safest and best healthcare possible for our patients and our community. Professionally we feel uncomfortable caring for children who will not receive vaccinations in a timely matter. These preventable diseases can and do cause severe illness, brain damage and death. We live in a diverse community with an abundance of national and international travel. Due to the transient nature of our community, we feel that the risks of contracting these diseases are here and real.
We are making you aware of vaccination information through vaccination education and not to scare or coerce you. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to educate you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your physician in advance of your visit. In some cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness (even death) and goes against our medical advice at the Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. Such additional visits will require additional co-pays on your part, as well as, adding to the emotional stress of your child.
If you have decided that you will not give your child any of the childhood vaccines, then clearly your philosophy and ours do not match and you should find a pediatric group more in line with your beliefs and values. We do not keep a list of such providers, nor would we recommend any such physician.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing frequency of parents refusing all vaccinations nationally. This places children and communities in unnecessary and potentially severe risk, and we feel obligated to do everything we can to reduce the number of people needlessly exposed. Unvaccinated children with fevers undergo more testing such as blood draws and spinal taps to diagnose diseases that could be easily prevented. Unvaccinated children also receive more antibiotics to treat potentially life-threatening diseases. It is our hope that all families will obtain all of the recommended immunizations. Thank you for your time and understanding in reading this policy. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any of our physicians.