Pediatricians Require Vaccines

Comment Icon0 The ongoing controversy over opting out of childhood vaccinations has found a new voice.  Even after the original link between autism and vaccines was found to be fraudulent, many parents continue to challenge pediatricians over vaccinating their children.  Some pediatricians, however, have decided to ask those patients who choose not to vaccinate to find another doctor.

Comment Icon0 The rationale for this decision comes from one of the arguments for vaccination called herd immunity.  When most of the population has been vaccinated, diseases cannot spread easily.  However, in the pediatrician’s office vulnerable populations are more likely to be exposed to communicable diseases than in everyday life.  If a child is not vaccinated and contracts a disease, he or she may be in the waiting room with children who are too young to have been vaccinated.

Comment Icon0 In Illinois schools, the overall vaccination rate is good at 98%.  However diseases that are uncommon now  such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis have lower than a 60% vaccination rate.   In order to avoid outbreaks and keep the herd immunity strong, doctors recommend a vaccination rate of at least 90%.

Comment Icon0 This policy would provide protection for young children, however the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against these types of policies because it could reduce the availability of care for many children.  In a time where primary care physicians are dwindling, access may be more of a challenge than many people realize.

Comment Icon0 Reference:

Comment Icon0 Shelton, D. (6 Jul 2011) “Some Pediatricians Taking Stand for Vaccine Program” Los Angeles Times.  Available from: http://www.latimes.com/health/ct-x-0706-vaccine-refusal-20110706,0,7407793.story

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