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Kerrville Pediatrics Vaccine Policy

  • We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.

  • We firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines.

  • We firmly believe that all children and young adults should receive all of the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

  • We firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence, and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.

  • We firmly believe that thimerosal, a preservative that has been in vaccines for decades and remains in some vaccines, does not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. The only vaccine we offer containing thimerosal at our facility is the multidose inactivated polio vaccine.

  • We firmly believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health promoting intervention we perform as health care providers, and that you can support as parents/caregivers.

The recommended vaccines and the schedule of administration are the results of years and years of scientific study and data-gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.

The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that we are even discussing whether or not they should be given. Because of vaccines, many of you have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, or even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died of one of these diseases. Such success can make us complacent or even lazy about vaccinating. But such an attitude, if it becomes widespread, can only lead to tragic results.

Over the past several years, many people in Europe have chosen not to vaccinate their children with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine after publication of an unfounded suspicion (later retracted) that the vaccine caused autism. As a result of under-immunization, there have been small outbreaks of measles and several deaths from complications of measles in Europe over the past several years. The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2019, with 1282 cases from 31 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

 

It is therefore against our medical advice as professionals at Kerrville Pediatrics.

When you don’t vaccinate, you take a significant risk with your child’s health and the health of others around them.  By not vaccinating, you also take selfish advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, thereby decreasing the likelihood that your child will contract a vaccine- preventable disease. Even delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give one or two at a time over additional visits goes against expert recommendations, is not supported by any scientific data, can lead to unnecessary delays and errors, and can put your child, other children, and adults at risk for serious illness (or even death). We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child.

We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to educate you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your healthcare provider in advance of your visit. In some cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations and can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers at Kerrville Pediatrics. Such additional visits will require additional co-pays on your part. Please realize that you will also be required to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate Waiver” acknowledgement in the event of any delays or refusals. If it is your will to “break up” vaccines, it is your responsibility to tell the provider which vaccines you would like at the time. The provider will not choose which vaccines to give on an alternate vaccine schedule as we firmly believe that all vaccines due at visit should be given appropriately.

As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating your child on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do to protect all children and young adults. Thank you for taking the time to read this policy. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any one of us.

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