Vaccinations are one of the most important services we provide as pediatricians. Thanks to vaccines, life threatening diseases like tetanus and polio are practically unheard of in the United States. Through widespread vaccination efforts, smallpox disease was completely eliminated from the earth. Vaccinations only work to keep communities healthy if EVERYONE vaccinates. Widespread vaccination leads to “herd immunity.” Disease outbreaks occur when not enough people vaccinate to maintain herd immunity in their communities. Nothing we do in medicine goes without risk, however we know with very good scientific evidence that the safety of vaccines far outweighs any potential risks. Serious adverse effects from vaccination are extremely rare compared to the benefits of immunization. We also know with good scientific evidence that vaccines do not cause autism.
OUR VACCINATION POLICY
For the utmost safety of your child and everyone else in our office, Prem Pediatrics does not accept patients who are unvaccinated or utilize alternative vaccine schedules. We firmly believe in the vaccine schedule endorsed by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics and discourage alternative schedules. If you choose to vaccinate but have questions about the routine schedule or vaccinations themselves, we are open to discussing concerns with you so you may be fully informed with the most current scientific data available. If you choose not to have your child vaccinated against life-threatening illnesses we will ask you to find another primary care physician. Please see the links below for routine vaccine schedules.
Reliable Vaccine Resources
We are here every step of the way to answer any questions that parents/guardians may have. This is your child’s health that we are helping to protect. We treat all patients as we would treat our own children. We understand that parents/guardians do not enjoy seeing their child upset by the discomfort of a needle stick, but we will try to comfort your child to make the process as quick as possible.
Here are a few questions that we hear from parents/guardians on a regular basis.
How safe are vaccines?
Vaccines are very safe with proper medical supervision. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and the American Academy of Family Physicians review and approve the recommended vaccination schedule for infants and children. As pediatricians, we search for any signs that a patient may not react well with a specific vaccine due to a pre-existing condition. If we find any signs of this, we will recommend another course of action to protect the child.
Is there any way to spread out some of the immunizations or change the schedule?
Not really. While we may have to make changes if a patient has pre-existing conditions, it is not advisable to change the immunization schedule. During the consultation appointment, we can go over the details of the treatment plan and the vaccine schedule.
Are there any side effects from the vaccines?
While there can be side effects, they are generally minor. Potential side effects include soreness at the injection site, fever, or being more fussy than normal. We are happy to discuss comfort measures to help reduce the stress and side effects. While rare, if there is ever a serious reaction, call us immediately.
Why does my child need to start receiving immunization vaccines so early?
The sooner we begin prevention for the child, the better. It is far too easy for an infant to be exposed to many potentially harmful germs in their environment. By beginning the immunization process early, we can help to build up the child’s immune system.
Does my infant have some type of natural immunity?
While the infant does have passive immunity from the mother during pregnancy and maintains some protection through breastfeeding, this immunity will not last. A child builds immunity to different diseases by either exposure to the disease or a vaccination. Vaccinations pose much less risk for the patient.
Is it healthy for my child to receive vaccinations when they are sick?
This depends on the sickness. Generally, a minor cold or an earache is not a contraindication to vaccination. Schedule an evaluation for the illness and then we can discuss if it is advisable to proceed with immunizations.