Lakeshore Pediatric Center, P.A. Vaccine Policy Statement:
We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.
We firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines.
We firmly believe that all children and young adults should receive all of the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence, and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. We firmly believe that thimerosal, a preservative that has been in vaccines for decades and remains in some vaccines, does not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
We firmly believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as healthcare providers, and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and the vaccine schedule are the results of years and years of scientific study and data gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.
That being said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination with the vaccine campaign being truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that we are even discussing whether or not they should be given. Because of vaccines, many of you have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, or even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died of one of these diseases. Such success can make us complacent or even lazy about vaccinating.
But such an attitude, if it becomes widespread, can only lead to tragic results. After publication of an unfounded accusation (later retracted) that the MMR vaccine caused autism in 1998, many Europeans chose not to vaccinate their children. As a result of under-immunization, Europe experienced large outbreaks of measles, with several deaths from disease complications. In 2012, there were more than 48,000 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in the United States, resulting in 22 deaths. Most victims were infants younger than six months of age. Many children who contracted the illness had parents who made a conscious decision not to vaccinate. In 2015, there was a measles outbreak in Disneyland, California (probably started by an infected park visitor who had traveled from the Philippines). The outbreak eventually spread to 147 people and, again, many were too young to have been vaccinated. When you don’t vaccinate, you take a significant risk with your child’s health and the health of others around them.
We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your healthcare provider 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 (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers at Lakeshore Pediatric Center, P.A.
Should you choose not to follow the recommended schedule, you will be required to sign a “Refusal to vaccinate” acknowledgement form created by the American Academy of Pediatrics and any additional vaccine visits to our office will require additional co-pays on your part.
Also, should you absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all of our efforts, we will ask that you find another health care provider who shares your views. Please note: We do not keep a list of such providers at our office.
As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating your child on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do to protect all children and young adults. We appreciate the trust you have put in us to care for your children and thank you for your time in reading this policy. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel to discuss them with any one of us.
~From All the Healthcare Providers at Lakeshore Pediatric Center, P.A.
This policy was adapted from: Immunization Action Coalition • Saint Paul, Minnesota • 651-647-9009
• www.immunize.org • www.vaccineinformation.org
Updated as of Sept. 2018.