This policy applies proactively, and thus, will not affect established patients. Our practice does not accept new patients who refuse all vaccinations. We encourage all families to vaccinate their children. If you have concerns about vaccinations, we want you to discuss them with your physician. If you are unwilling to follow the recommended immunization schedule or an alternative schedule, we respectfully ask that you see another physician.
Our physicians recommend following the immunization schedule established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We recognize that some parents have reservations about vaccinations, and we respect the parents’ role as the ultimate decision makers regarding their child’s healthcare.
The vaccinations recommended by the CDC and AAP prevent serious illness and save lives. The recommended schedule and vaccinations are founded on decades of study based upon data from millions of people. This body of scientific and medical evidence strongly supports the safety and efficacy of these recommendations.1 All of our physicians and staff vaccinated their own children.
Nearly universal vaccination was one of the most important health interventions of the 20th century. We are fortunate that most American’s have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, heamophilus influenza, or bacterial meningitis. However, underimmunization has contributed to recent outbreaks of serious vaccine preventable diseases in the United States and elsewhere.
A child who is not vaccinated faces a heightened risk to him or herself, and puts all children, in our office, in daycare, in school, and in society at large, at risk.2 Studies have shown that unvaccinated children face increased risk. Moreover, part of the protection of vaccines comes from so-called herd immunity. Most vaccines result in immunity in 90-95% of children. Those who do not develop immunity, are too young to be vaccinated yet, or cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons are protected by herd immunity.
We respect your right to refuse to vaccinate your children. But we believe this decision is inconsistent with our ability to provide the best preventive healthcare we can to our patients, individually and collectively. Therefore, we ask prospective new patients who intend to categorically refuse all vaccinations to see another physician.
1See e.g., Maglione, MA, et al. Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics 2014; 134(2): 377-379.
2See e.g., Feikin DR, et al. Individual and Community Risks of Measles and Pertussis Associated With Personal Exemptions to Immunization. JAMA 2000;284:3145-3150; Salmon DA, et al. Health Consequences of Religious and Philosophical Exemptions From Immunization Laws: Individual and Societal Risk of Measles. JAMA 1999;282:47-53. [Erratum, JAMA 2000;283:2241].
Adopted: September 12, 2014, Last Revised August 30, 2016