All of our doctors at Oak Park Pediatrics strongly endorse universal vaccination. We do not encourage alternative vaccination schedules, however to support your child’s pathway to vaccination, we will discuss these with you. We expect your child to receive all primary vaccinations required by the Illinois Department of Public Health by the age of 2, and booster doses by Kindergarten entry.
The immunization of children against a multitude of infectious agents has been regarded as one of the most important health interventions of the 20th century. Successes of vaccines include:
- Elimination of smallpox worldwide
- Elimination of polio from North America
- Significant decrease in outbreaks of whooping cough, measles, and chickenpox
- Prevention of serious illnesses caused by tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae
It is estimated that pediatric immunizations are responsible for preventing 3 million deaths in children each year worldwide. Universal vaccination provides significant public health benefit, such as:
- Preventing outbreaks of rare diseases
- Providing protection of young infants and medically fragile persons
- Providing protection for the small percentage of individuals who do not respond to vaccination
Individuals who are medically fragile or too young to receive vaccines rely on herd immunity for protection.
Despite this success, some parents continue to refuse immunizations for their children. Web sites critical of immunization are prominent on the Internet, a source that many parents rely on for health information. Many commonly held beliefs about the risks of immunization are not supported by medical research and available data. These false beliefs frequently originate from the unsupported claims of anti-vaccine organizations.
It is ironic that the remarkable success of vaccine programs has resulted in most parents having no memory of the devastating effects of illnesses such as poliomyelitis, measles, and other vaccine-preventable diseases. This makes it difficult to fully appreciate the benefits of immunization.
For these reasons, our physicians at Oak Park Pediatrics strongly support providing immunizations to our patients according to the standard vaccination schedule established by the Centers for Disease Control. We use combination vaccines in our practice when we can to minimize the number of injections our patients receive during visits. Our nurses are well trained in providing injections as safely and efficiently as possible.
We hope you find this information on vaccines and our practice’s vaccination philosophy helpful when selecting pediatricians for the care of your family and we appreciate your understanding of our vaccination policy.