Austin Regional Clinic Strengthens Vaccination Policy, Post-Measles Outbreak

New policy requires all pediatric patients to be vaccinated

June 30, 2015 – Austin, Texas – Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) is strengthening its vaccination policy. The new vaccination standards reflect current recommendations from two leading health authorities—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new policy is:

As of July 1, 2015, ARC physicians will no longer accept new pediatric patients whose parents/guardians will not permit vaccination.
 
For current patient families with unvaccinated children, ARC physicians will discuss concerns in order to begin implementing the CDC vaccination catch-up schedule. Parents who are unwilling to commit to a vaccination schedule will need to find another physician outside of ARC.
 
ARC will continue to accept new pediatric patients and retain established pediatric patients who have compromised immune systems, or have documented adverse reactions to vaccines.  ARC encourages parents to work with their ARC physician to determine if and when specific vaccines can be administered.

ARC’s primary concern is the safety of its patients. The recent measles outbreak started with just one case in California (Disneyland) and led to over 115 cases in at least 21 states. The outbreak reemphasized how easily measles and other dangerous, vaccine-preventable illnesses can spread and how important it is to maintain safe facilities for patients.
 
The vaccination policy has been revised so that ARC clinics will not pose health risks to its most vulnerable patients, such as infants who have not yet received the full spectrum of vaccines, frail seniors, pregnant women and persons with other conditions that comprise their immune systems.
 
“More than 400,000 infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors trust ARC for their health needs. It is our responsibility to ensure our facilities are safe for all of them,” said Russ Krienke, MD, Chief Medical Officer. Austin Regional Clinic. “And while we respect the right of families to make their own choices for their children, we also respect the trust our patients put in us to ensure the safety of all, and our policies must honor that trust.”
 
For more information, contact ARC at 512-272-4636 or review the updated policy on the ARC website at http://www.austinregionalclinic.com/health-library/patient-education/immunization-schedule.
 
About Austin Regional Clinic

Austin Regional Clinic is a multispecialty medical group committed to providing comprehensive healthcare services throughout the greater Austin area. Founded by three physicians in 1980, it now provides health care to over 400,000 area residents in 21 locations in seven cities, including both primary and specialty care. ARC is unique to the Austin area because of the widespread locations, convenient services and quality assurance programs. ARC patients enjoy access to such conveniences as same-day appointments, online appointment scheduling, 24/7 phone scheduling, ARC MyChart patient portal, After Hours Clinics, and nursing services through the night. Most ARC offices also offer on-site radiology and lab services and some offices offer specialty programs such as a travel clinic and weight loss programs. For more information, visit www.austinregionalclinic.com.

Tags: Immunizations, Safety, Vaccination Policy

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Why We Strengthened Our Vaccine Policy

We recently strengthened our immunization policy to require that all of our new and existing pediatric patients be vaccinated. Of course, ARC will make exceptions for patients who have severely compromised immune systems or adverse reactions to vaccines. The reason we did this is simple, we are committed to the safety of our patients.