I firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines.
I 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 the American Academy of Pediatrics.
I firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.
I firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. I also 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.
I firmly believe that vaccinating children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as health care providers, and that you can perform as parents/caregivers. The recommended vaccines and their schedule given 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.
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 about vaccinating. Over the past several years, many people in Europe have chosen not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine after publication of an unfounded suspicion (later retracted) that the vaccine caused autism. As a result of under-immunization, there have been small outbreaks of measles and several deaths from complications of measles in Europe over the past several years.
Furthermore, by not vaccinating your child you are taking advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases.
I am making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. I recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. I will do what I can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do.
Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all efforts, I will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. I do not keep a list of such providers nor would I 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 a medical professional, I feel very strongly that vaccinating children on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do for all children and young adults. Thank you for your time in reading this policy, and please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with me.
Dr. David Lowry D.O., FAAP