East Bay Pediatrics supports vaccinating all children according to the schedule published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Please see the minimum vaccine requirement for East Bay Pediatrics.
In the past ten years, there has been a lot of controversy about vaccines and a lot of media attention to the subject. We strongly believe that the concerns about vaccines have been based on disproven, faulty research and sensationalist reporting. What is often overlooked by the media is how dangerous the infections are that the vaccines prevent.
The vaccines we recommend target life-threatening infections that were routinely fatal less than one hundred years ago. Infections such as pertussis (whooping cough), measles and haemophilus influenza B (meningitis) were common, and have been nearly eradicated because of the campaign to vaccinate all children against these diseases. However, as more parents have doubts about vaccines, and either decline or delay vaccines, these infections are able to return to the community. In the past few years, children have died from all of those diseases, either because they had not been vaccinated, by the parent's choice, or because they were too young or medically unable to get the vaccine and were exposed to someone with the infection.
Most of the controversy about vaccines has focused on whether vaccines, or preservatives in vaccines like thimerosal, cause autism or developmental delays. All of the current research, which is based on years of scientific research with data on millions of children, convincingly disproves a connection between vaccines and autism. Some parents are concerned that vaccines can harm a child's immune system or development. These concerns have also been thoroughly researched and proven to be unfounded.
We understand that it can be confusing and scary to read about diseases like autism, and also to hear about rare complications of vaccines. Researchers continue to look for causes of autism, but we do know that vaccines are not considered to be a cause. And while there are rare, and unfortunately sometimes serious, complications of vaccines, they are extremely uncommon, and the risks are far outweighed by the life-saving benefits of vaccines.
Some parents request to delay or use an "alternative schedule" for vaccines, thinking that as long as they get the vaccines eventually there is no down-side. In fact, many vaccines are given to protect a child when they are most at risk for those diseases, so delaying the vaccine puts the child at risk for illness and even death. Following an alternative schedule goes against our medical advice. Our practice has a timeline for those parents who still wish to follow an alternative schedule with minimum requirements (scroll down), to ensure the safety of your child.
For those families who do still choose to vaccinate on a delayed schedule, it is important for those families to relay that information to the doctors and nurses who may be advising you when your child is sick, as their immunization status may influence our medical care of your child.
For those families who refuse to meet our minimum requirements, or do not want to vaccinate their child, we will help you find another health care provider to meet your needs.
Resources about Vaccines
We encourage all of our parents and patients to share with us their specific concerns, so that we may educate you and provide you with reputable sources to do more of your own reading. Reliable resources on vaccines, their effects, and side effects are sometimes difficult to find in the media. Listed here are a few links to websites which may answer some of your questions about vaccines:
- American Academy of Pediatrics In addition to policy on vaccines, the AAP's new Immunization Page contains up-to-date information on vaccines for parents. Or check out the Sound Advice audio information on the HealthyChildren.org website.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC provides Vaccine Information sheets (links available on our vaccine schedule page). The parent information page provides several articles on topics including understanding vaccines, questioning vaccines, myths about vaccines, and risks of not vaccinating.
- Paul Offit Dr. Offit has written several books about vaccines and the myths which surround vaccines. Check them out at your local library or bookstore:
- Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know
- Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
- Immunization Action Coalition The most thorough website in regards to the latest information on vaccines and safety. Check out Dr. Ari Brown's article Clear Answers & Smart Advice about your Baby's Shots.
- Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs) can tell you more about preventing the spread of diseases, from hand washing to vaccines. This organization also provides support for parents whose children have fallen ill to certain diseases.
In 2016 a law was passed in California mandating certain vaccine requirements for school entry, and prohibiting personal or religious belief exemptions to these requirements. The vaccines required for school entry can be found here.
East Bay Pediatrics Vaccine Schedule
The East Bay Pediatrics recommended visit and vaccine schedule varies only slightly from the AAP and CDC recommended schedule. The CDC Vaccine Information Sheets are linked to the vaccine schedule. Ask your doctor if you have any further questions about these vaccines.
Some families desire to spread out immunizations even further; however the practice has set a minimum vaccine requirement in order to protect all of our patients and ensure proper advice is given to all families in the event of illness. If your child is behind the practice's routine vaccine schedule, please notify any health care provider, even within our practice, when discussing your child's health or an illness. Medical decisions may depend on whether your child has been fully vaccinated.