Vaccines changed medicine
Vaccines have literally transformed the landscape of medicine over the course of the 20th century. Before vaccines, parents in the United States could expect that every year:
- Polio would paralyze 10,000 children.
- Rubella (German measles) would cause birth defects and mental retardation in as many as 20,000 newborns.
- Measles would infect about 4 million children, killing 3,000.
- Diphtheria would be one of the most common causes of death in school-aged children.
- A bacterium called Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) would cause meningitis in 15,000 children, leaving many with permanent brain damage.
- Pertussis (whooping cough) would kill thousands of infants.
Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations before. For most Americans today, vaccines are a routine part of healthcare.
However, the disappearance of many childhood diseases has led some parents to question whether vaccines are still necessary. Further, a growing number of parents are concerned that vaccines may actually be the cause of diseases such as autism, hyperactivity, developmental delay, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) among others. These concerns have caused some parents to delay vaccines or withhold them altogether from their children.
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Our Vaccine Policy
As medical professionals, we believe:
- in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and save lives.
- in the safety of vaccines.
- 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, unless medically contraindicated
- that, based on all available literature, evidence and current studies; vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
- that thimerosal, a preservative that has been in vaccines for decades and has been removed from all but a few vaccines, does not cause autism or developmental disabilities.
- that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health promoting intervention we perform as your provider and that you can perform as a parent.
These things said, we realize that there has been and may always be controversy surrounding vaccination. The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success . It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness 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, whooping cough , bacterial meningitis, or known a friend or family member whose child died from one of these diseases. Such success can lead to complacency about the importance of vaccinating.
But such attitudes and vaccine refusal can and has led to tragic results. Over the past several years many Europeans chose not to vaccinate with MMR after publication of an unfounded suspicion (which was later completely discredited) that the vaccine caused autism. As a result of under-immunization, there have been outbreaks of measles and deaths from measles.
Infants are now dying from pertussis. Children in several states have had life changing complications from Haemophilius Influenza, a vaccine preventable disease which can be fatal.
We find this unacceptable.
We want you to be aware of these facts for the well being of your child. While we recognize that the choice to vaccinate may be very emotional for some, because of our strong beliefs that the benefits of vaccines far surpasses the risks, we will remain diligent in our attempts to decrease and prevent the devastating effects of vaccine-preventable illnesses.
If you have concerns about vaccines, please discuss them with your provider.
Please be aware, however, that delaying vaccines or utilizing random schedules can put your child at serious risk for illness and death. We require you to sign a refusal to vaccinate form and if finally, despite all of our efforts, you continue to choose not to vaccinate, you will be asked to find another provider who shares your views