Children's Clinic Vaccine Policy
- We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.
- We firmly believe in the safety of 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 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 the schedule with which they are given are the results of years and years of scientific study and data gathering on millions of children by thousands of the world’s brightest scientists and physicians.
All patients in the practice will be required to receive vaccines according to the guidelines set forth by the CDC and AAP. Please be advised that delaying or “splitting up the vaccines” is potentially dangerous, and this practice will not be condoned. Any patients who previously started an alternative schedule will be required to become up-to-date on their vaccines at their next appointment. If you choose to refuse to vaccinate your child, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views.
We recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination. This controversy has been propagated by celebrities and misinformation regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines. What should be a straightforward decision based on scientific data has become an emotionally charged debate.
After publication of an unfounded accusation (later retracted) that MMR vaccine caused autism in 1998, many people in Europe chose not to vaccinate their children. As a result of underimmunization, there were large outbreaks of measles, with several deaths from complications of the disease. In 2010 there were more than 3000 cases of whooping cough in California, with nine deaths in children less than six months of age. Again, many of those who contracted the illness (and then passed it on to the infants, who were too young to have been fully vaccinated) had made a conscious decision not to vaccinate.
Vaccine effectiveness relies on the concept of herd immunity. The higher the percentage of the population that is vaccinated, the more effective we are at providing an umbrella of protection for not only ourselves, but for those that cannot be vaccinated due to immunodeficiency, illnesses, and age (i.e. infants). With the increasing rate of noncompliance with vaccinations in certain pockets of the population, we have seen firsthand the breakdown of herd immunity and emergence of outbreaks. Diseases such as measles and whooping cough that had all but been eradicated in past due to vaccination are now reemerging at an alarming rate.
As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating children on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do for all children and young adults. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any of our providers.