Today, most children in the United States lead much healthier lives and parents live with much less worry about infections during childhood because of childhood immunizations. Immunizations are one of the success stories of modern medicine.
Therefore, we at Family Medicine at Greenhill provide childhood immunizations according to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The immunization schedule is found at:
Occasionally parents ask about delaying or avoiding some of the recommended immunizations. At Family Medicine at Greenhill, we strongly urge that all children receive immunizations according the recommended immunization schedule above. This is because we practice according to the best scientific evidence, and that evidence is clear that all recommended immunizations have more benefit than harm. While all vaccines have some risk of adverse effects, (as do all medications, including natural/herbal remedies) these risks are very small.
However, we also respect the autonomy of the individual patient to make choices for their own and their child’s health care. Some parents are very concerned about the small risks of adverse effects. The best approach is for us to talk to each individual family about these risks, and how the benefits outweigh these risks. We hope that after this discussion, families will agree to provide their child with vaccines according to the recommended schedule.
But if in the end some families choose not to receive all recommended vaccines, we are still willing to work with families, under two conditions. First, we want to make sure that families understand and accept the scientific evidence regarding the benefit of vaccines. So for any families that choose to decline or delay certain vaccines, we ask them to sign an “informed consent” form about vaccines. This is available at:
Also, some vaccines are so important that if families decline these vaccines, it suggests that they do not understand or accept the scientific evidence regarding vaccines, and so it would not work for us to be their health care provider. These highest priority vaccines include the highly-contagious respiratory infections such as pertussis, measles, pneumococcal disease and HIB.
Our goal is to provide the best possible care for all children while respecting patient autonomy. We hope that we are able to work collaboratively with families toward this goal.