- We firmly believe in both the effectiveness and safety of the currently recommended vaccines for children and adolescents.
- We fully support the current vaccine schedule that is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. These schedules are continually studied and revised by experts in fields of medicine and immunology and public health.
- We fully believe believe based on all the current science and research that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. Furthermore, we believe that the thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in multi-dose vials (currently only the influenza vaccine), does not cause or trigger autism or worsen autism.
- We firmly believe that vaccinating children may be the single most important intervention we perform as healthcare providers.
That being said, we recognize that historically there has always been controversy surrounding routine vaccination and currently there is an erosion of trust. We are victims of our greatest successes in that we rarely see any of these vaccine-preventable infections. We take for granted that we have very high vaccinations rates.
In addition we understand how difficult it is to watch our children receive multiple injections at one time. We are hoping for more combination vaccines as much as you are. Again there is plenty of research to reassure us that giving multiple vaccines at once, though stressful, is not overwhelming to the immune system of any aged child.
As a result of under-immunizing in pockets both in Europe and the U.S., we are now seeing outbreaks of both pertussis and measles. Both infections can result in hospitalization and even death. Both infections are completely preventable by vaccinations.
We recognize that the decision to vaccinate your child may be emotional for some parents and we will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is in the best interest of your child.
However, should you have doubts please discuss these with your healthcare provider in advance of your visit and we would ask that you view the two videos available on the CHOP Vaccine Education Center to further educate yourself.
Please be advised that delaying or splitting up vaccines will just increase the interval during which your child is vulnerable to those infections. We also want you to recognize that when we receive urgent phone calls after hours we assume that all the kids have received their routine vaccinations. For example, we would give very different advice on a routine call for a fever or a cough in a child that had not received vaccinations.
As healthcare professionals we feel that strongly about vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule. In fact we feel so strongly that it would be unfair to other patients in our practice to have unvaccinated children sharing the same waiting areas. There are documented cases where children contracted measles infections while waiting in the doctor's office because they were exposed to others with measles that chose not to vaccinate. This is a serious public health issue to which we feel a serious stance needs to be taken.
Please refer to the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia or the Centers for Disease Control for more information on this issue.