We strongly encourage you to immunize your child and to do so according to the recommendations of the nation’s experts on infectious diseases at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. We have seen the sometimes-devastating effects of failure to vaccinate in our own practices. And we never want a child to needlessly suffer or die from a disease that a vaccine can prevent.
We understand the reasons why you may worry about vaccine safety. And we want to work with you to calm your fears and make you feel good about your choices. In the media, you may have seen or read stories about those who question the safety of vaccines.
The “Vaccine Book,” by Dr. Bob Sears, has left a significant impression on many parents. Yet, there are significant flaws in the logic and evidence used in his book. “Pediatrics” journal recently printed an article debunking the information in the Sears’ book.
Parents sometimes ask for altered vaccine schedules. Although that is not our preference, we would rather your child be partially immunized than not immunized at all. Please talk with us about your concerns and questions. We’re sure you’ll find that we share the same goals of keeping your child healthy and safe.
Reasons to vaccinate:
- Vaccines work. Most vaccines are 90 to 99 percent effective in preventing disease. If a vaccinated child does contract the illness, the symptoms are usually less serious than in a child who hasn’t been vaccinated.
- Vaccines are safe. All vaccines have been extensively tested and found safe by the FDA. Ongoing monitoring systems follow where and how vaccines are made and tracks adverse reactions.
- Vaccines are necessary. We live in a state where many children are under-immunized. And in many parts of the country and world there are active outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that can easily spread in our community.
- Vaccines prevent diseases and potentially death. These diseases can be potentially life threatening or life-altering. Now that many children have been vaccinated, we see fewer serious childhood diseases and most parents are no longer frightened of the illnesses. Pediatricians who have watched a child with septic shock or whooping cough know how dangerous these illnesses can be. Children who are not vaccinated according to the schedule established by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics may die of preventable diseases.