The Wellness Roundup With Dr. Jill

Strict Pro-Vaccine Policy Enforced at Healthy Kids Pediatrics

HKP = Pro VaccinationWe at Healthy Kids Pediatrics 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 (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 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 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. This said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination.

After publication of an unfounded accusation (later retracted) that MMR vaccine caused autism in 1998, many Europeans chose not to vaccinate their children. As a result of underimmunization, 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. In 2015, there was a measles outbreak in Disneyland, California and every day we are hearing of more and more outbreaks all over the United States and worldwide, most recently the measles outbreak in Washington State.

HKP = Pro Vaccination

We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents especially given the overwhelming amount of misinformation out there. We encourage discussion to help parents understand the importance of vaccinating and to alleviate doubts. 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 goes against our medical advice as providers at Healthy Kids Pediatrics. We have found that permitting small variations in the vaccine administration schedule might imply that it is acceptable to delay vaccines further or not vaccinate at all. We would like to be clear that lengthy delays or skipping vaccines is not acceptable. Because we are committed to protecting the health of your children through vaccination and we feel it is our duty to protect our patients who are unable to be vaccinated, we require all of our patients to be vaccinated as follows:

  • Infants will receive all age-appropriate recommended vaccines by 3 months of age and we will not “split” or “space out” the primary series infant vaccines more than 2 weeks apart.
  • Additional recommended vaccines as well as booster doses will be completed by 2 years of age. If your child does not receive the recommended vaccines including MMR and Varicella by 2 years old we ask that you find a pediatrician office willing to share your views.
  • Children will receive additional recommended 4 year old booster doses by the time they are 7 years old. If your child is not caught up by 7 years old we ask that you find a pediatrician office willing to share your views.
  • Children will be given recommended 11–12 year old vaccinations by the time they are 13 years old.
  • We will complete 16 year teen vaccinations before each child’s 17th birthday.

 

HKP = Pro VaccinationIf you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another healthcare provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers, nor would we recommend any such physician.    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.

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