We understand that all parents want only the best for their children and make decisions that they feel are in their child’s best interest. At times, however, we don’t agree with the choices parents make and the decision not to vaccinate is one decision we can no longer passively accept.
Whooping cough, chicken pox and now measles have returned with increasing prevalence and the day-to-day risk of exposure is real. These diseases carry substantial risk, especially to the very young and those who cannot be vaccinated. We are fortunate that over the last decade the science regarding the safety of vaccines has come a long way: dispelling the association between vaccination and autism for example and reinforcing the safety of vaccination overall.
We, as providers of evidence-based medical care for your children, can no longer support the notion that opting out of vaccination is in your child’s best interest nor is it in the best interest of the community at large.
We encourage all families – new and established – who have questions or concerns about vaccination to set up a 30-minute Vaccine Consultation appointment to discuss these issues in a relaxed setting.
Partnering with you to answer your questions, allay your fears and concerns, and gain confidence as you put a schedule in place for vaccination is essential. New families joining the practice will need to initiate vaccination of their infants by 6 months of age or within a month of joining the practice if their child is older than 6 months and behind on vaccinations.
We feel the Vaccine Consultation appointment is great way to lay the groundwork for the relationship we will build if you’re a new family to the practice with vaccine concerns and will reinforce the relationship if you’re already established here.
The vast majority of our patients follow the usual schedule and are fully vaccinated which is the best protection we can offer. For those opting for an alternate schedule we’d rather have you vaccinate more slowly than not at all and will work to encourage your children to reach the goal of full vaccination by age 2 for the primary series, and then again at kindergarten and middle school when vaccine boosters are due.
Some of us have special needs children and still vaccinate on schedule because we understand that the science is clear: vaccines are safe and effective and our best chance of protecting our children against the illnesses that are making a real comeback. No vaccine is risk-free but the diseases they protect against are much riskier and much worse.
There was a time nearly a decade ago when a single, now debunked, study with fewer than 20 children showed a potential link between vaccines and autism. That study struck fear in the hearts of parents and the medical community alike. Since then the author of that study was found to have made up his data and later had both the study retracted and his license to practice medicine revoked. Since that study, over 30 scientific studies have been done with literally hundreds of thousands of children which completely refuted that association. No one knows what causes autism and it is unlikely to be only one thing but vaccination does not appear to be the culprit.
A breastfed infant gets more exposure to foreign antigens breastfeeding every day than in one set of vaccines. Infants who receive their vaccines in groups together have improved immune response compared to infants who receive them one or two at a time and have no significant difference in mild side effects like lumps on the leg, fussiness after vaccination, or mild fever.
Vaccines do not contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative (although it is not one that accumulated in the body like the mercury found in fish). Your body creates more formaldehyde as a natural byproduct of biological processes every day than you will get in a whole series of vaccinations.