The doctors of Children’s Health Partners strongly believe the following:
• Vaccinating your child may be the single most important thing we can do to help keep your child healthy.
• It is our responsibility to protect as many children as possible from disease.
• The recommended vaccines are safe.
• Vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness and saving lives.
• Vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
• The safety and effectiveness of vaccination is supported by an overwhelming amount of scientific research.
• All children and adolescents should receive all of the recommended vaccinations according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• Vaccines are a victim of their own success. Most people have never seen a vaccine preventable disease and because of this some people underestimate the devastating complications of illnesses like meningitis and measles.
• Open dialog between the patient's family and doctor is critical regarding concerns about vaccination.
• Splitting and delaying vaccinations allows children to go unprotected from preventable illness and death for unnecessary periods of time.
We are, however, sensitive to the concerns that many parents have regarding vaccination. Since the opening of our practice, the doctors of CHP have had thousands of discussions with parents with questions or concerns about vaccinations. Our goal has always been to develop long term relationships with our patients and serve as a trusted resource where parents can feel comfortable asking any question about their child. For patients with vaccine concerns, we encourage you to show us the concerning articles or social media posts you have read about vaccination so that we may have a true conversation about your fears. We also would like you to understand that we practice what we preach; all of us have vaccinated our own children according to the recommended AAP/CDC schedule. This includes HPV (human papilloma virus, a.k.a. the “cervical cancer vaccine”) and yearly influenza vaccination.
With this as a background, as of June 1, 2017, we stopped accepting families who do not vaccinate their children. Current patients who are still under vaccinated for DTaP, IPV, HIB, PCV13, Hep B, MMR, VZV (Chicken Pox), Tdap, or Menactra vaccines should be vaccinated immediately, after consulting with a physician or nurse to establish the appropriate vaccination schedule. Should you refuse to vaccinate your child, or follow the appropriate schedule, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views.
We have not taken this position to bully or coerce families in to vaccination. We do this for three reasons:
1. to emphasize the facts about immunization and how critical we feel vaccines are to your child’s health.
2. to protect our patients who can not be vaccinated (for medical reasons or because they are too young).
3. so as not to implicitly condone non-vaccination by allowing this to continue in our practice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Will you complete the State of Illinois Certificate of Religious Exemption form?
No, we will no longer complete this form.
2. What if my child has a medical reason for which they can’t be vaccinated?
Children who have medical reasons for not being vaccinated, i.e. they are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or are immunosuppressed after a transplant. As long as these patients receive vaccines when they are medically indicated they are welcome at CHP.
3. What if I would like to space out my child’s vaccines?
Spacing out immunizations leads to delays in infants being protected from preventable diseases. It is not a practice that we recommend. However, CHP will continue to offer this as an option as long as parents keep their children on a schedule that allows them to be no more than 1 month behind on their regular vaccines.
4. What if my child is only missing one or two shots?
We require that our patients be up to date with all of the required vaccinations. These are DTaP, IPV, HIB, PCV13, Hep B, MMR, VZV (Chicken Pox), Tdap, and Menactra vaccines. If you have a question about your child’s immunization status, please call our office.
5. What about HPV, Hep A and Influenza vaccines?
Although we recommend these vaccines and give them to our own kids, they are not required by the State of Illinois, so we have not made them mandatory for a patient to be cared for by CHP.