New AAP Report Reaffirms ARC Pediatric Vaccination Policy
August 29, 2016
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in a report published today, urges pediatricians to continue to discuss vaccination with their patients, but also says that if parents continue to refuse vaccinations, despite efforts to change their minds, it would be acceptable for pediatricians to exclude these families from their practice.
“Countering Vaccine Hesitancy,” published online and in the September 2016 Pediatrics, advises pediatricians to have “compassionate dialogues” with parents to clear up misconceptions around vaccines, provide accurate information about the safety and importance of vaccines, and strive over time to help parents make the decision to vaccinate their child.
Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) strengthened its pediatric vaccination policy in July, 2015, deciding that physicians will no longer accept new children whose parents will not permit vaccination, and urging current patient families with unvaccinated children to discuss their immunization concerns with their pediatrician. “The majority of families chose to get the immunization and stay with their pediatrician,” said Dr. Alison Ziari, Chief of ARC Pediatrics.
“We knew that unvaccinated children in our waiting rooms could be life-threatening for not only the child, newborns, and immunocompromised patients,” continued Ziari. A small fraction of the more than 100,000 ARC pediatric patients who continued to refuse were asked to seek care elsewhere.
Dr. Ziari’s comments are included in a story published today in the Los Angeles Times and KXAN-TV interview.