All parents want to do what’s best for their children! Decision-making is sometimes hard because parents look at differing information from various sources. Who should parents trust?
Some parents struggle with conflicting vaccine information from reputable medical sources versus myths perpetuated on the internet, anti-vaccination websites that are easily reached via standard search engines, and interactive social media platforms.
Others question the validity of vaccine research clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, believed to be motivated by money. This skepticism often extends to federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Vaccine-hesitant parents sometimes relay to me a story that they heard about a child who experienced something bad just after receiving a vaccine. We never hear about the millions of children who were vaccinated but had nothing bad happen to them.
It is important to note that because of our high vaccination rates, any negative health outcome in the first two (2) years of life will most likely occur in a child who is vaccinated. Additionally, if a child has something bad happen to him or her, after receiving a vaccine, it doesn’t mean that the vaccine is the cause. Determining causal relationships requires scientific inquiry.
Vaccines for children have been proven to be much more beneficial and safe, than not. Not vaccinating is truly a risk and delaying vaccines leaves a child vulnerable to potentially dangerous pathogens for a longer period of time than necessary. Children in the United States still succumb to vaccine-preventable diseases.
A lack of trust contributes to parental concerns about vaccines, but a strong positive relationship with your primary care provider will help alleviate worry. Pediatricians promote vaccines because we believe that receiving them is best for your child. It isn’t a money-making undertaking for us. In fact, from a purely business perspective, vaccines don’t make much sense at all for pediatric practices.
I have vaccinated my own child with all the recommended child and adolescent vaccines and I have been vaccinating children safely for the past twenty-five years.
Please give us a call if you wish to discuss any of your vaccination concerns. Our office policy is not accepting patients whose parents have decided not to vaccinate. However, many families who initially refuse vaccines do go on to have their children vaccinated later.