Policy Statement on Immunizations
Desert Shores Pediatrics strongly believes in the effectiveness of immunizing children to prevent serious and life-threatening illnesses and certain types of cancer. We firmly recommend all infants, children and adolescents receive all recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control. These schedules are continually studied and revised by experts in many fields of medicine, including immunology and public health.
Vaccinating children against a multitude of infectious agents is the most important health intervention of the 20thcentury. The recommended vaccines andthe schedule by which they are given are the result of years of scientific study and data gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians. We fully believe, based on all available data, scientific literature, current studies and evidence-based medicine, that vaccines do not cause autism or developmental disabilities.
Vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as healthcare providers and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. Vaccines, in some respect, have become a victim of their own success. Many people have never seen a child with whooping cough, polio, tetanus, bacterial meningitis, measles, or even chicken pox. Choosing not to vaccinate is refusing one of our strongest recommendations to protect children and prevent illness.
In general, public support for the United States vaccine program remains overwhelmingly strong. However, not vaccinating your child or vaccinating your child according to your personal vaccine schedule is putting your child and other children at risk. Children who are not vaccinated are at a much higher risk of catching a vaccine preventable disease and may be contagious even before they show symptoms. This puts everyone, but especially infants or immunocompromised children, at risk.
Additionally, we are an international country with people traveling in and out daily from around the world. Children who are unvaccinated could be exposed to travelers with vaccine preventable diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, whooping cough, polio, haemophilus and pneumococcal illnesses including meningitis. This exact scenariois what led to the 2019 outbreak of measles across the United States. These preventable outbreaks resulted in countless sick children and adults as well as an incredible amount of time and money for health departments to contain the outbreak. Not only can unvaccinated children easily contract these diseases, but they canthen expose partially vaccinated younger children resulting in significant disease, disability, or death. Not vaccinating or partially vaccinating puts your child and those around you at risk for these preventable diseases.
As your child’s health care provider, we at Desert Shores Pediatrics would never recommend immunizations for your child that we would not be willing to give to our own children. As medical professionals and your trusted partners in the care of your children, we feel strongly that vaccinating on schedule with currently available vaccines is the right thing to do for all children and young adults. We will continue to recommend vaccinating based on the CDC immunization schedule and will address this at all visits, regardless of the family’s desire to immunize. Families who continue to refuse vaccinations will still be required to attend all recommended well visits and sign both our vaccine policy and vaccine refusal forms. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with any of the health care providers at Desert Shores Pediatrics.
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