The healthcare providers at Annapolis Pediatrics carefully reviewed our approach to vaccinations in our practice. We support the vaccination of all children and young adults. Vaccines saved more lives in the past century than any other medical intervention. Our vaccine recommendations are based on the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The recommended vaccines and their schedule are the result of many years of scientific study and data gathering from the billions of children who were immunized. We firmly believe that those studies correctly conclude that vaccines are safe.
The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. This success has made some parents complacent about vaccinating. We recognize that the choice to vaccinate your child may be a complex one but failing to vaccinate can lead to tragic results. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that parents are even questioning whether or not they are necessary. As a result of vaccines, most people in this country have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis or even chickenpox. Unfortunately, the healthcare providers in our office have seen children suffer and/or die from these vaccine preventable illnesses.
Immunizations are crucial to preventing disease among the general population. Vaccines benefit both those who receive them and the vulnerable, unvaccinated people around them. In our office, we have many patients who are too young to be vaccinated and are at risk for contracting a vaccine preventable disease from a child who is unvaccinated. While you may choose to assume risk that you or your child might contract a vaccine-preventable illness, we cannot assume risk for our patients. Adhering to the vaccination schedules recommended by the AAP and CDC is the right thing to do, and we are happy to direct you to the resources supporting that.
We also rely on the studies that show delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give fewer at each visit goes against expert recommendations. Deviating from the recommended schedule can put your child at risk for serious illness or even death and goes against our medical advice. For these reasons, it is our expectation that all of our patients be up-to-date with their infant/toddler vaccines by two years of age. In addition, we firmly believe that all of our patients should have their recommended childhood vaccinations by the age of six years. Furthermore, all adolescent and young adult vaccinations should be administered in accordance with the current CDC and AAP schedule recommendations.
We feel very strongly that vaccinating children on schedule with currently available vaccines is the right thing to do for all children and young adults. Our conviction is best demonstrated by the fact that our own children are fully immunized and vaccinated on schedule. If despite our recommendations, you feel you cannot follow the AAP and CDC vaccine schedule recommendations, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns that you have about vaccines with any of the providers during your office visit. We look forward to providing the best care possible for our patients and their families.
Sincerely, Annapolis Pediatrics