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 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 has been removed from all but one vaccine used in pediatrics since 2001, 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 health care providers, and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and their 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.
The vaccine campaign is 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, measles, 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.
Over the past several years, many people in Europe have chosen not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine after publication of an unfounded suspicion (later retracted) that the vaccine caused autism. As a result of underimmunization, there have been outbreaks of measles and several deaths from complications of measles in Europe over the past several years. The number of measles cases in our country is now at its highest point in the last seven years.
Furthermore, by not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable.
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 health care provider in advance of your visit. Please be advised 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 Pediatric Associates of Plymouth. Furthermore, please realize that you will be required to sign a "Refusal to Vaccinate" acknowledgment in the event of delays.
Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, you may want to consider whether it is possible to maintain an effective, trusting doctor-patient relationship with our office. We do not believe in "alternatives" to immunization, and would not recommend any physician or provider who does. Please recognize that by not vaccinating you are putting your child at unnecessary risk for life-threatening illness and disability, and even death.
|Jane M. Longacre M.D., F.A.A.P.||Alicia Boellner-Kahn M.D., F.A.A.P.|
|Mary Anne Gazdick M.D., F.A.A.P.||Song S. Chin M.D., F.A.A.P.|
|Alexander R. Salomon M.D., F.A.A.P.||John B. Evans M.D., F.A.A.P.|