Vaccination Policy for Pediatrics
To the patients of Heartland Primary Care,
The pediatricians at Heartland Primary Care have recently reviewed our approach to vaccinations in our practice. 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. Unfortunately, in the past several years we have watched as there has been a steady increase in the number of parents choosing not to vaccinate, to follow their own schedule, and/or delay vaccination. At the same time, we have seen pockets of increased vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.
An example of a recent and widespread outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease is pertussis, or whooping cough. Last year over 36,000 cases of whooping cough have been recorded in the United States which is evidence that we must ensure all children are vaccinated and up to date on boosters. Vaccination can decrease overall disease and protect the youngest who cannot be vaccinated.
With these issues in mind, Heartland Primary Care has created a practice-wide Vaccine Policy:
- We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives. This is the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as health care providers and you can perform as parents or caregivers wanting to protect your children from infectious diseases.
- We firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines and that all studies have shown vaccines to be safe and effective. Vaccines have not been shown to be a cause of autism.
- We firmly believe in protecting the most vulnerable and those who can not be vaccinated due to young age or those who have serious medical conditions. We also believe in protecting the families in our practice who did choose to vaccinate.
- Therefore, all children in our practice must be immunized within a reasonable amount of time per the childhood immunization schedules recommended by the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics. If, despite our recommendations, your family chooses to not vaccinate or not give all required vaccines, you may be asked to find another health care provider who shares your views.
Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with your provider. We understand that this decision may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to provide education based on solid evidence, to answer your questions and help you understand why vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. Sometimes you just need help from a reliable source to dispel the myths seen on TV or the internet.
We will allow families with children that are unvaccinated or behind on vaccines to have six months to catch up. In addition, we do not keep a list of providers who allow patients to not vaccinate.
We look forward to continuing to partner with you in the health of your children.
The Physicians of Heartland Primary Care