Why We Strengthened Our Vaccine Policy
June 30, 2015
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.
This safety promise extends from the care we provide patients, to the clinics our patients visit to receive care.
The recent measles outbreak in California (Disneyland), the worst measles outbreak our country has seen in two decades, was a reminder to us about how important it is to maintain safe facilities, from our waiting rooms to our exam rooms. The outbreak started with just one individual and led to over 115 measles cases in 21 states.
We’ve seen other vaccine-preventable outbreaks in the U.S. such as mumps and whooping cough. Persons most at risk are our most vulnerable patients—infants, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems. It is our responsibility to offer a safe environment for all of our patients, from our tiniest to our most mature and everyone in between.
We know that the best protection against these diseases is to vaccinate. Vaccinations are the reason that measles was virtually eradicated from the United States since 2000.
We hope that parents of patients who are not yet fully vaccinated per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization schedule will speak with their child’s doctor and decide to vaccinate their child per the recommended catch-up schedule.
We are honored that so many Central Texans trust us for their care and the care of their families. And we respond by taking steps to ensure that the care we provide is safe, convenient and accessible for all.
Russ Krienke, MD
Chief Medical Officer