Meadowbrook Pediatrics would like to ensure that all of our patients are as healthy as possible. One of the most important public health advances has been the development of vaccines, so we strongly believe that all children should be immunized. Because of vaccines, many diseases have been eliminated or have become uncommon, including polio, smallpox, diphtheria and tetanus. Scientific research has consistently shown that vaccines are safe and effective. Choosing not to vaccinate your child puts your child as well as others at risk, including family members, classmates, and other children in our waiting room.
We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your health care provider but be advised, that delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” goes against expert recommendations. This can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers at Meadowbrook Pediatrics. We expect you to complete the vaccines in a timely manner. Furthermore, please realize that you will be required to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate” for any vaccine delays. All patients in the practice are required to start the primary series of vaccines by three (3) months (DTaP, Hib, Polio, Pneumococcal and Rotavirus) and complete the entire series before ten (10) months. Hepatitis B vaccine must be started by one (1) month of age and completed before ten (10) months of age. All other AAP recommended immunizations such as Hepatitis A, MMR and Varivax must be received by 18 months of age and boosters of these vaccines by age 6. Tdap and meningococcal vaccines must be received by twelve (12) years of age. The booster meningitis shot must be received by sixteen (16) years of age. Please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html for standard schedule information.
Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate or complete vaccinations for your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. Please recognize that by not vaccinating you are putting your child at unnecessary risk for preventable life threatening illnesses, disability, and even death.
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. Our medical relationship is built on trust: Trust that we have been trained well, that we follow the most up to date scientific evidence, that we are concerned about your child’s well-being, and that we will recommend the best care for each child. When a family does not trust our judgment or recommendations on something that is so well established, it creates a poor relationship. To this end, if you do not wish to immunize your child, our practice may not be a good fit for your family. Thank you for your time in reading this policy, and please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any one of our providers.