Pediatric Healthcare of LI Vaccine Policy Statement
This statement as an attempt to clearly define our position on vaccines and the current immunization schedule. Discussing vaccines is especially important due to increasing concern regarding their necessity and safety.
Vaccines are effective, prevent serious illness and save lives. The recommended vaccines and schedule are the result of years of scientific study and health policy development. Children and young adults should receive the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that many of you have never seen anyone with polio, tetanus, hepatitis, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis or measles. Such success can make us complacent about vaccinating and allows some people to focus on the risks rather than the benefits. However, we have unfortunately seen the most severe complications of the illnesses which vaccines can prevent.
We are confident in the safety of our vaccines. There are known possible side effects from some of the vaccines and it is important to discuss these. The evidence from extensive research overwhelmingly supports the belief that the benefits of vaccinations far out-weigh their risks and that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
Current immunization policy directly benefits the individual who receives the vaccines. It also benefits our communities because high numbers of immune individuals in the community greatly reduce the chance that a susceptible person will come in contact with an infected individual. Everyone in the community, whether vaccinated or not, benefits. However, this effect is only maintained if most of the community receives vaccines. When immunization rates decline, we unfortunately start to see more outbreaks of serious vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Vaccinating according to the recommended schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your health care provider. We do not recommend delaying vaccines because doing so can put your child at risk for serious illness and death.
Thank you for reading this policy. Your child's health is our foremost concern. Immunizing children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as doctors, and that you can perform as parents. We acknowledge and deeply appreciate the trust you place in us and look forward to partnering with you to provide the best healthcare for your child.
Abraham I. Green, M.D.
Moshe Schlusselberg, M.D.