|What is your practice's philosophy on vaccination?|
The providers at Virginia Pediatric and Adolescent Center take great pride in providing excellent care to our patients. We use scientific evidence whenever possible in an effort to guide our practices and policies. We stand strongly behind the fact that vaccines are proven to be safe and effective against vaccine preventable diseases. In spite of this, we realize and appreciate that not all parents and guardians believe that vaccines are either safe or effective. It is our goal to work with families in an effort to ensure the safety and health of their children, and it is never our intent to force parents to do anything that is against their will and best judgment. We feel that it is the right of all parents to make decisions regarding the vaccination of their children. We also feel that it is our right as pediatricians to practice medicine in a way that we believe most follows scientific evidence and the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. By not following recommended vaccination practices, we feel we are implicitly supporting the practice of non-vaccination as an option, and encouraging further trends in our society to not vaccinate children.
We have made the difficult decision to no longer accept new families to our practice who choose not to vaccinate their children at all. It is not our intent to offend anyone, but rather to treat our existing patients in a medically ethical and responsible manner. While we do not recommend alternate vaccine schedules in general (delaying vaccines allows for a greater time of vulnerability, and is not supported by scientific evidence), we will continue to work with families who choose to do this for one reason or another, as long as it is reasonable in our judgment. Our goal is to keep our patients healthy through adequate immunization practices in order to protect them against invasive infections and their serious consequences.
Although we strongly believe in following the guidelines of the AAP and CDC in our vaccination practices, and barring any extenuating circumstances, the following vaccines and schedules are absolute minimums that we require in order to maintain a relationship with our current patients:
DTaP, HIB, Prevnar:
Must have received one of each of these vaccines/components by 3 mos (recommended 2 mos)
Must complete 4 doses each of by 18 months (recommended 15 mos)
Must have received one dose by 3 months (recommended 2 mos)
Must complete 3 doses by 18 months (recommended 15 mos)
MMR and Varicella:
Must receive the 1st dose of each by 18 months (recommended 12 mos)