Pediatricians Turn Away Patients Whose Parents Refuse VaccinationsDanielle Sullivan
If your pediatrician sent you a letter that said if you didn’t follow their vaccination schedule, your child could no longer be a patient, would that bother you? Or would it bother you more to know that your newborn was sitting next a family of children who weren’t vaccinated ever?
Eight pediatricians at one pediatric office in Chicago recently informed their patients by mail that they will “no longer see children whose parents refuse to follow the childhood immunization schedule developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
Dr. Scott Goldstein, one of the pediatricians who participated explains why in an article in the Chicago Tribune:
“All of the available research shows that the safest and most effective way to vaccinate children is on the schedule set by the CDC and AAP. To go against that schedule goes against proven scientific research and puts patients who do follow the schedule at risk.”
She says that out of the 5,000 to 6,000 patients in the practice, only a dozen or so have left due to the new policy.
Dr. Minal Giri, medical director of Melrose Park Pediatrics, says she had similar results, and that “only a handful of parents expressed concern” after her medical practice implemented a vaccine policy in back in the fall of 2008:
“The impetus behind the policy was to protect our patients. We have newborns, we have pregnant moms, we have kids with cancer who are immune-compromised, and it is a risk for them to have people coming in who have not been vaccinated.”
As far as I know my pediatrician’s office has no such policy. I have never received anything in writing stating otherwise. If it did, I might have to leave simply because I am holding off on the Gardisil vaccine. But since that is not a vaccine for an airborne disease that might be spread in an office, I’m not sure it should fall under the same regulations. Yet if the doctors mandate that a parent must follow the recommended schedule of vaccinations according to the AAP, I would have a problem.
I really haven’t given much thought to whether the children next to us in the pediatrician’s office are vaccinated. I tend to worry more about keeping my kids away from the other children in general, due to all the germs already there.
Does your pediatrician mandate that you must follow the vaccination schedule? Would you leave their practice if they did? Does it bother you to think your child is sitting next to an unvaccinated child? Have you ever thought about it at all?
Read more about Vaccinations, and why parents are still skeptical.