Should Pediatricians 'Fire' Patients Whose Parents Don't Vaccinate?
August 18, 2011
Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends doctors continue to treat families who decline to get every government-recommended vaccine, some pediatricians have decided to "fire" patients who refuse vaccines -- essentially, telling them that they should seek treatment elsewhere.
"Vaccine-educated" and "vaccine-cautious" parents tend to ask lots of questions before deciding whether or not to vaccinate their kids, and pediatricians might do better to take the time to answer thoughtfully rather than "firing" them.
According to Time Magazine:
"In July, the Chicago Tribune chronicled the phenomenon of doctors severing ties with unvaccinated children, describing a letter that one eight-physician practice sent to its more than 5,000 patients, announcing they would no longer see children whose parents didn't follow the CDC-advised childhood immunization schedule. Fewer than a dozen families elected to leave the practice."
In other vaccine news, U.S. regulators at Merck's biggest vaccine-making plant identified charred bits of plastic shrink wrap have been found in vials of the vaccines. Merck said it isn't aware of any adverse health events associated with the problem.
Affected vaccines included Gardasil (for prevention of HPV infection), Varivax (for chicken pox), Pneumovax (for pneumococcal disease), Zostavax (for shingles), and MMR II (for measles, mumps, and rubella.)
According to Fox Business:
"In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a formal warning letter about deficiencies at Merck's West Point, [Pennsylvania] plant. Since then, FDA inspection reports have cited more problems: the presence of metal particles in certain products, cracks in vaccine vials and delays in Merck's reporting to the FDA of adverse events from products made at the plant."