2014 Updated Vaccination Policy

Smita Parikh Mengers, MD FAAP & Wendy R. VanBronkhorst, MD FAAP

Please correct the errors described below.

Over the past few years, there has been a steady and alarming increasing in the number of children becoming ill from vaccine-preventable illnesses, such as Pertussis (whooping cough) and Measles. This is happening in our local community, throughout the country, and internationally. As pediatricians, it is our responsibility to provide the best and most scientifically up-to-date care for our patients. We know that providing vaccines for our patients protects individual children, babies who are too young to receive vaccines, and children who are receiving chemotherapy or other treatments that make them unable to be vaccinated. Thus, when children we care for are not fully immunized, they are at risk for getting severely ill themselves, and they are also putting infants and children with chronic illnesses at risk for severe, but preventable illnesses.

Therefore, as of January 1, 2014, we expect all new patients to our practice to adhere to the Center for Disease Control’s vaccine schedule. If families request an alternative schedule, we will require the following:

  1. All infants will receive 3 doses each of DTaP, IPV, Prevnar, and Hib by the child’s 1st birthday.
  2. All children will receive a 4th dose of Prevnar, DTaP, and Hib, and a first dose of MMR and Varicella by age 2.
  3. All children will receive booster doses of DTaP, IPV, MMR and Varicella by age 5.

However, we strongly advise all families to give the entire series of vaccines at recommended times, just as everyone in our office has done for their own children. If families request an alternative schedule which meets with the above requirements, they may submit their request in writing with specific dates when each vaccine will be given.

We understand that the popular media and celebrities without medical training have called into question the safety and effectiveness of vaccines over the past few years. Science has proven that vaccines do not cause autism but are extremely effective at preventing illnesses that have killed countless people throughout history. We are fortunate to live in a time when vaccines are available for so many dangerous illnesses. We generate essentially no profit from providing vaccines – we do it because we believe this is the best medicine for all of our patients.

If you have further concerns or questions about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, we encourage you to read information from reputable scientific sources, including the AAP and CDC (http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/safety.html) (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/index.html), or you may make a separate appointment to address these concerns with your pediatrician.

Thank you for understanding and we look forward to taking care of your children.

I have read and agree to the above vaccination policy.

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