South East Bay Pediatric Medical Group (SEBPMG) fully supports vaccinating all children based on the vaccination schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We also support the 2016 California law mandating minimum vaccine requirements for school entry. Vaccines are safe and important for the health of your child, your family, and the community.
We fully endorse AAP, ACIP, and CDC recommendations. They are based on scientific evidence and well-constructed scientific studies. Unfortunately, the “controversy” surrounding vaccines is based on anecdotal evidence, poorly constructed studies, and sensationalized reporting. There will always be discussions about vaccines, but this does not change the scientific evidence surrounding the safety and benefits of vaccination.
Based on years of scientific research looking at millions of children, vaccines and their components are
- DO NOT cause autism
- DO NOT weaken the immune system
- DO NOT cause developmental delays
Vaccines prevent infections that can be extremely debilitating and/or life-threatening such as pertussis or whooping cough, measles, Haemophilus influenza type B meningitis, and pneumococcal blood infections. Because vaccines have been very effective in reducing these illnesses, vaccines are a victim of their own success, as we no longer see these diseases very often. However, in countries where there are low vaccination rates, these illnesses are still quite prevalent. In the US and in other well-developed countries, communities with under-immunized patients are showing a rise in these once-rare diseases. As we have witnessed with the recent measles outbreak, a resurgence of these diseases can occur unless we continue to immunize children.
Families who choose not to vaccinate their children place not only their children at risk, but also others they expose to disease when they become sick with these infections. Special groups of patients may not be able to be vaccinated, including some infants, pregnant women, and immunocompromised patients (e.g. patients with cancer, leukemia, or taking immune-suppressing medications). These patients rely on the general public being vaccinated to reduce their risk of being exposed to and contracting these life-threatening infections.
As pediatricians, our primary goal is to keep children healthy; therefore, we agree with AAP, ACIP, and CDC recommendations for childhood vaccines. Given this philosophy, unless a patient meets the strict CDC guidelines to receive a medical exemption for vaccinations, we expect every patient to be vaccinated. Families who decide not to vaccinate their children would be better served by another practice, and SEBPMG reserves the right to withdraw from care in these situations.
We understand that families may have concerns about the immunization schedule and desire that their children be vaccinated under an alternative schedule, but we do not recommend following alternative schedules. The timing of specific vaccines is meant to protect children at the time when they are most vulnerable to those diseases. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, we are willing to work with families who desire an alternative schedule as long as our office’s Vaccination Policy requirements are met.
This policy is as follows:
- Infants need to start their vaccines by 6 months of age.
- By the 2 year Well Check, children should have the following:
|Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)||4 doses
|Haemophilus Influenza B (HiB)||4 doses
|Hepatitis B (Hep B)||3 doses|
|Pneumococcus (PCV)||4 doses
|Polio (IPV)||3 doses
|Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)||1 dose|
|Varicella (VCV)||1 dose|
- By 6 years of age, patients should have the following (in addition to the vaccines above):
|Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)||2 doses total|
|Varicella (VZV)||2 doses total|
|Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)||1 additional dose between 4-6 years|
|Polio (IPV)||1 additional dose between 4-6 years|
- By 13 years of age, patients should have the following (in addition to the vaccines above):
|Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)||1 dose is a state requirement to enter 7th grade|
For families who decline to vaccinate their children in accordance with the minimum vaccination requirements explained above, SEBPMG may elect to discontinue care. SEBPMG’s minimum vaccination requirements are not inclusive of all vaccines, and there are other vaccines that are also important in keeping children healthy (e.g. flu, Hepatitis A, HPV vaccines). Families that decline any recommended vaccines in addition to the minimum vaccination requirements will be asked to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate” acknowledgment form. Refusal to sign a “Refusal to Vaccinate” form upon request may result in SEBMG discontinuing care.
Patients who have not elected to vaccinate their children in the past prior to implementation of this policy need to initiate catch-up vaccination within 6 months of notification of the policy. New patients to our practice who have refused vaccinations in the past with their previous pediatrician likewise need to initiate catch-up vaccination within 6 months of notification of the policy.Families who decide not to vaccinate their children according to the CDC catch-up schedule would be better served by another practice, and SEBPMG reserves the right to withdraw from care in these situations.
SEBPMG’s Vaccination Policy is not meant to scare or coerce families into vaccinating their children. Our policy reflects the importance we place on vaccinating children in order to keep them and the rest of the community healthy. We also want to make sure you are aware of the facts about vaccination, and not be swayed by sensationalized reports.
As a courtesy to our patients, South East Bay Pediatric Medical Group also provides elective and/or travel vaccines recommended by the CDC and ACIP that may NOT be covered by some insurance plans. Families are responsible for any charges for these vaccines and their administration in the event that they are not covered by insurance, or if your insurance applies it towards the deductible.
Once a vaccine is drawn for a patient, the vaccine needs to be administered as soon as possible and it cannot be returned to supply or used on another patient. If a patient or their parent/guardian changes their mind after a vaccine is drawn and no longer wishes to have the vaccine administered, they will still be responsible for the full cost of the vaccine. Please note that health insurance may not cover the cost of vaccines that are not administered.
Resources for vaccines can be found at: