The vaccine debate has picked up steam in California since the passage of SB 277 which mandates that “all children who attend daycare, preschool and pre-k through 12thgrade are to receive vaccines unless they have a medical exemption signed by a licensed physician.”

Parents of unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or delayed vaccinated children are particularly upset because they feel that they are being forced to vaccinate their children in order for them to attend school.  They feel the only options currently available are to vaccinate, get a medical exemption or homeschool.

Concern about Vaccine Safety is the most common reason that parents choose to not vaccinate or delay vaccination.

Physicians believe that vaccines are responsible for the eradication many childhood diseases that used to lead to death or serious health complications before the advent of vaccines.  They do understand that a small percentage of children may experience side effects from vaccines.  However, they feel that the benefits outweigh the risks.

There is currently, a disconnection between some parents and physicians about the necessity of vaccines which may result in families being discharged from medical practices if they choose not to follow the recommendations of the physician regarding vaccines.

Unfortunately, there is sometimes a lack of effective communication between physicians and parents of unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated children.

Ironically, parents and physicians want the same thing:  They want children to be healthy.

Parents and physicians could start by recognizing that they are both on the same side of this issue.

Communication could be improved by releasing negative beliefs on both sides.  They must remember that the mutual goal is for children to be healthy.

Physicians spend several years learning about the body and how to keep it healthy or return it to a healthier state after disease. Therefore, the recommendation to vaccinate is not given to bring harm to children.

Parents want their children to live long healthy lives. Therefore, when they question vaccines they do so as a result of fear of serious side effects due to vaccines.

Physicians and Parents listening to each other with mutual respect would foster solutions that could lead to improved health outcomes for the children.

 

Dr. Pam