At PMG, we closely follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics in regards to immunizations. Immunizations that are commonly given in the childhood years protect against crippling diseases such as diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella. For your convenience, we administer all immunizations right here in our offices.
We often give immunizations simultaneously with your child’s well child check. Please read “Your Baby’s First Vaccines” from the CDC prior to your child’s two-month well child visit.
If you are considering not vaccinating your child, please read this blog, by Dr. Chandra regarding the importance of vaccinations.
Additionally, here are a few of the most popular vaccine myths “debunked,” as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
MYTH #1: Vaccines aren’t safe.
FACT: Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. Extensive testing is required by law before a vaccine can be licensed. Once in use, vaccines are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness. The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history.
MYTH #2: Vaccines cause autism.
FACT: Research shows autism rates are the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Twenty-three studies have tested hundreds of thousands of children and found no link between autism and vaccines. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, and World Health Organization have all maintained that there is no connection between vaccines and autism.
MYTH #3: There is a lot of mercury (thimerosol) in vaccines, which is dangerous.
FACT: Extensive research has failed to show any consistent link between thimerosal in vaccines and any health condition including autism. Thimerosal was removed from all routine child vaccines in 2001. Despite the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines, autism rates have continued to rise. This is the opposite of what would be expected if thimerosal caused autism.
MYTH #4: Combination vaccines or multiple vaccines given at the same time are dangerous.
FACT: Before combination vaccines are licensed for use, extensive studies are done to ensure safety and effectiveness. Similar studies are done before multiple vaccines are recommended to be given at the same time.
MYTH #5: We don’t need to vaccinate kids anymore for the same diseases we had as children.
FACT: Recent history continues to demonstrate that when vaccination rates dip in the population, these diseases rebound. Small pox is the only disease that has been eliminated world wide and against which we no longer need to be vaccinated. An example would be the recent measles outbreaks in New York and California. The news article can be found here, detailing how the choice not to vaccinate can lead infectious diseases to bounce back in our country.
MYTH #6: A “holistic” lifestyle will bolster our immune systems and protect us from disease.
FACT: Certainly there are steps we can take to reduce our risk of contracting or getting seriously ill from vaccine preventable diseases, such as washing our hands and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, research has shown over and over that vaccination is by far the safest and most effective way to avoid infection with these diseases.
MYTH #7 Only young children need vaccinations.
FACT: Vaccine-preventable diseases continue to be a threat throughout our lives. Adolescents need boosters for many childhood diseases, some college age students need protection from meningitis, adults need vaccines for shingles and pneumonia, and everyone needs the flu vaccine and, especially for those around infants, the pertussis vaccine.
MYTH #8: Too many vaccines can overwhelm the immune system.
FACT: Before a vaccine is licensed, extensive studies are done to ensure that the vaccine produces an effective immune response and does not overwhelm the immune system when given alone, in combination with other vaccines, or, if necessary, in multiple doses over time. The current schedule of recommended vaccinations for all ages is perfectly safe for the vast majority of the population.
We are happy to address any concerns regarding vaccinations with parents. But, in an effort to protect all of our patients, their families, and our staff, from vaccine-preventable diseases, we cannot accept families who choose not to vaccinate their children in accordance with the AAP schedule into our practice. Additionally, we may have to recommend alternative healthcare arrangements for current patients who choose not to follow this schedule. This includes required vaccinations, as needed for public school entrance, and does not include flu or other OPTIONAL vaccines, which PMG may still highly recommend.