Northlake Children's Associates, P.A.
Pediatric Care & Pediatricians located in Mooresville, NC
It’s normal to worry about your kids, and though you may have concerns about vaccinations, you should know that they protect your child from contagious diseases that may have long-term consequences. We understand your concerns and can answer any questions you have while also providing your child with the vaccinations they need for the best protection.
Here at NCA, we believe that all children and young adults should receive the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Please reference our detailed vaccine policy below for more information.
Vaccinations Q & A
What are vaccinations?
Vaccinations boost your child’s immune system. At birth, your baby is protected from some diseases due to the antibodies passed to them during pregnancy. Breast milk also offers some protection. Unfortunately, these protections are only temporary, leaving your baby vulnerable to disease.
Vaccinations are shots that help stimulate your baby or child to develop their own antibodies to protect them from illness.
What vaccines are needed?
Vaccines are required at Northlake Children’s Associates. The names of common vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics include:
- Mumps, rubella, measles (MMR)
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
- Hepatitis A and B
- Human papillomavirus
- Pneumococcal vaccine
- Meningococcal ACWY and B
Many of these vaccines are given in combinations to reduce the number of shots administered. While you may want to spread out the shots to minimize your child’s discomfort, your child is better protected when the vaccines are given as scheduled.
The doctors at Northlake Children’s Associates also recommend children get the flu vaccine every year. Because your child’s immune system isn’t as strong as yours, a flu infection can cause more serious complications, such as pneumonia.
Are vaccinations safe? Vaccine Policy Statement
Yes, vaccinations are safe. The vaccinations offered to your child have undergone years of study to ensure that they’re not only safe, but also effective. Your child may have a mild reaction to a vaccine, such as a low-grade fever or soreness at the site of the injection, but these side effects should resolve quickly.
In addition to being safe, vaccinations protect your child from deadly diseases. They also help protect the children that can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons, such as cancer therapy.
To get answers to all of your questions from a kind and caring team, call Northlake Children’s Associates today or book an appointment online.
Vaccine Policy Statement
We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.
We firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines.
We firmly believe that all children and young adults should receive all of the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence, and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. We firmly believe that thimerosal, a preservative that has been in vaccines for decades and remains in some vaccines, does not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
We firmly believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as healthcare providers, and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and the vaccine schedule are the results of years and years of scientific study and data gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.
This said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin, persuaded by his brother, was opposed to smallpox vaccine until scientific data convinced him other-wise. Tragically, he had delayed inoculating his favorite son Franky. The boy contracted smallpox and died at the age of 4, leaving Franklin with a lifetime of guilt and remorse. In his autobiography, Franklin wrote:
“ In 1736, I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox...I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it, my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.”
The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that we are even discussing whether or not they should be given. Because of vaccines, many of you have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, or even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died of one of these diseases. Such success can make us complacent or even lazy about vaccinating.
But such an attitude, if it becomes widespread, can only lead to tragic results. After publication of an unfounded accusation (later retracted) that MMR vaccine caused autism in 1998, many Europeans chose not to vaccinate their children. As a result of underimmunization, there is now again Global measles outbreaks, with 1,300 cases of measles reported in 31 states in the U.S. in 2019 alone. In 2012, there were more than 48,000 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in the United States, resulting in 22 deaths. Most victims were infants younger than six months of age. Between 2014 and 2018, over 104,119 cases were reported to CDC, and cases continue to occur throughout the U.S. in 2019. Many children who contracted the illness had parents who made a conscious decision not to vaccinate.
When you don’t vaccinate, you take a significant risk with your child’s health and the health of others around them. By not vaccinating, you also take advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, thereby decreasing the likelihood that your child will contract a vaccine-preventable disease. We feel that refusing to vaccinate is unacceptable unless there is a medical reason given by a specialist.
We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to discuss with you why vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your healthcare provider in advance of your visit. In some special cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or “breaking up the vaccines” to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness and goes against our medical advice as providers at Northlake Children’s Associates. Such additional visits may require additional co-pays on your part as well (per insurance). Please realize that you will also be required to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate” acknowledgement in the event of lengthy delays.
Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another healthcare provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers, nor would we recommend any such physician. Please recognize that by not vaccinating, you are putting your child at unnecessary risk for life-threatening illness and disability, and even death.
As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating your child on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do to protect all children and young adults. Because we are committed to protecting the health of your children through vaccination, we require all of our patients to be vaccinated.
Thank you for taking the time to read this policy. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any one of us.
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