In the late 1940s, polio outbreaks terrorized the U.S. with increased frequency and size, disabling an average of more than 35,000 people each year. Parents were frightened to let their children go outside, especially in the summer when the virus seemed to peak. There is no cure for polio but because of the success of the vaccine, there have been no cases of polio transmission originating from the United States since 1979.
Vaccines are truly a victim of their 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 have never known a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, epiglottitis, diphtheria, or measles. Such success can make us complacent about vaccinating.
Brentwood Pediatric Care’s policy supports the safety and evidenced based guidelines of vaccines to promote the health and safety of each patient and our community as a whole. As such, we expect parents to immunize their children according to the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The vaccines required by the state of Tennessee, and which we support, are:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pneumococcus (PCV)
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP, Tdap)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Polio (IPV)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal disease (MenACWY)
We respect the right of parents to make the healthcare choices that they think are appropriate for their children. We believe that the patient and doctor relationship is a very important one and should be formed on the basis of trust and medical philosophy. Brentwood Pediatric Care’s medical philosophy is based on scientific evidence-based medicine with vaccines and immunization playing a core component of this philosophy. If there is fundamental disagreement over medical philosophy, then the basis for a trusting relationship is impacted. Consequently, in this situation we feel that it is best for parents to find another practice that fits their preferences.
Also, please be aware there are many websites that contain misinformation and falsities about vaccines. We would be happy to answer questions you may have about your child’s care. We are honored to be entrusted with the care of your child, so please rest assured that we are providing you with accurate, fact-based information and we are treating your child as we would treat our own.