WEST SIDE PEDIATRICS VACCINE POLICY STATEMENT
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 removed from most 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 health care providers, and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and their schedule given are the results of years and years of scientific studies and data-gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.
These things being said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination. The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective 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, bacterial meningitis, or even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died of one 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 several outbreaks of measles in the past few years resulting in several deaths; at the same time, the rate of autism did not decrease.
By not vaccinating your child you are taking advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We are making you aware if these facts not to scare you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice can be a difficult and emotional one for some parents. Should you have concerns or doubts, please discuss these with us at the time of your visit. In some cases, we may be able to alter the schedule to accommodate concerns. However, be advised that delaying immunizations goes against expert recommendations, and could put your child at risk for serious illness (including death and disability). Please realize that you will be required to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate” form that indicates that you understand that you are placing your child at risk.
If you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers.
As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating children on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do. Thank you for your time in reading this policy, and please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about any vaccines with any one of us.
The Doctors of West Side Pediatrics
PATIENT NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
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