Vaccinating children is ‘absolutely the right thing to do,’ according to the American Academy of Pediatricians.
As Pediatricians, we are committed to disease prevention as well as disease treatment. Childhood immunizations have been one of the most remarkable and successful achievements of modern medical practices.
We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.
We firmly believe in the safety of 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 Diseases 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 in vaccines for decades and remains in the influenza vaccine for children over three years old, 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 as scheduled are the result of decades of scientific study and data gathering on millions of children by our brightest scientists and physicians. Our clinic has been involved in numerous vaccine studies and we have observed first-hand the meticulous records kept in order to get a vaccine approved for use in the general population.
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 even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died from one of 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 outbreaks of measles and several deaths from complications of measles.
Unfortunately, even in Northwest Arkansas, we do not live in a protected bubble but in an international business environment with possible exposure to various preventable diseases.
We are making you aware of these facts to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. Please be advised that delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers. Except for acute illnesses that delay immunizations, we administer vaccines only during scheduled visits.
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. 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 us.
Some excellent articles on this topic can be found at www.aap.org under the heading “For Parents.”