We are honored that you have chosen Kids First Pediatrics as the medical home for your children. Like you, we believe there is nothing more important than keeping your children healthy and safe. We understand that parents/guardians have questions and concerns regarding vaccines and our providers are happy to discuss these concerns with you. We also acknowledge that the decision to vaccinate your child is a personal one. However, we, as pediatric providers AND parents, firmly believe the following based on scientific evidence:
- Vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness and saving lives.
- Vaccines are safer than ever before.
- Vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important intervention we perform to ensure the health and safety of children and adults in our community.
- The recommended vaccine schedule is the result of many years of scientific study and vaccine refusal or alternative vaccine schedules leave children at risk of serious illness and/or death.
The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. Because vaccines are so effective at preventing infections, most people have never seen children suffer or die due to polio, bacterial meningitis, tetanus, whooping cough, or even chickenpox. Such success can make us complacent, leading some to believe vaccines are unnecessary. That thought process, combined with widely spread but unsubstantiated anti-vaccine rhetoric, puts children at unnecessary risk.
Recent events and heightened concern for our patients’ welfare have caused us to re-evaluate our policy regarding unvaccinated children in our practice. Around the country, the actions of relatively few parents have put the most vulnerable at risk. Life-threatening diseases such as measles and whooping cough are occurring more frequently. As pediatric health care providers, it is our responsibility to promote the safest possible environment for all of our patients. Therefore, after much discussion, we have decided that we will no longer enable parents in their decision to refuse vaccines for their children.
Kids First Pediatrics Vaccine Policy:
- All patients should receive all recommended vaccines according to the CDC/AAP vaccine schedule unless there is a medical contraindication.
- We will not accept new patients whose parents choose not to vaccinate their children.
- Parents of newborns will be given until the 2 month checkup to initiate vaccines. If vaccines are not initiated at that time, patients will be required to find another pediatric health care provider. These patients can continue to be seen in our office for 30 days after being informed of the policy verbally and in writing.
- We do not recommend alternative vaccine schedules. If parents plan for their children to receive all vaccines but on an alternative schedule, we will do our best to work with you, with the goal being that children are fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Children must receive their primary series of vaccines by age 2 and all vaccines required for school by age 5. If vaccines are not done by those ages, patients will be required to find another pediatric health care provider. Because we do not believe in the need for an alternative schedule, we will not choose vaccines to be administered. The recommended vaccines will be discussed and parents will decide on a schedule.