The physicians of Suburban Pediatrics are well aware of the recent controversy and “celebrity” opinions regarding the safety of childhood vaccines and we’d like to make clear our position on this important matter.
- We believe that vaccines are effective in preventing serious illnesses and saving lives.
- We believe in the safety of vaccines.
- We believe the vaccine schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the highest level of protection against serious illness.
- We believe based upon all available literature, evidence, and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
- As parents we have immunized our own infants and children according to the CDC schedule with confidence because we believe in the overwhelming value of vaccines in protecting our families from potentially fatal infectious diseases.
The effectiveness of vaccines used in the U.S. has dramatically reduced the incidence of infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Most young parents today have never seen a case of measles, diphtheria, tetanus, or whooping cough. Most don’t know a family who has lost a child to meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenza , or has had a child crippled by polio. Because these diseases are far less common now than in the past, some parents have become complacent in their attitude towards vaccination, placing their children and others at risk. However the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable deaths still exist both here in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, and can be passed on to people who are not protected. In fact, the CDC reports alarming outbreaks of measles in parts of the U.S. where immunization levels have dropped and warns that a major epidemic will occur if this trend continues.
Other parents have been influenced by flawed studies and irresponsible media coverage suggesting a link between autism and vaccines, specifically the measles, mumps, and rubella or MMR vaccine. Numerous well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate any association between the MMR vaccine and autism. The largest study conducted over 6 years and involving 537,000 children demonstrated that the incidence of autism is the same in children who did not receive the vaccine. Scientists currently studying the causes of autism believe it may be a genetic syndrome and that subtle symptoms of the disorder are evident in infants long before they receive the MMR vaccine. Another common autism myth involves the use of thimerosal, a preservative with small amounts of mercury. Thimerosal was removed from all vaccines administered to infants and young children in 2001; however there has been no decrease in the diagnosis of autism as a result of this change.
Therefore, it is our policy to require that all patients in our practice receive all immunizations according to the CDC’s recommended schedule. We can no longer accept new families into the practice that do not plan to vaccinate their children. We cannot honor any requests to follow a vaccine schedule different from the CDC's. Existing families in the practice will need to demonstrate an effort to comply with our policy or may be asked to transfer to the care of another physician.
We hope this information helps you to understand the importance of protecting your child from diseases that kill hundreds of thousands of children annually all around the world. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please talk with your child’s doctor. You can also learn more about vaccines from the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org , the Allied Vaccine Group at www.vaccine.org or the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov .