Today I heard a disturbing piece of news regarding children and vaccinations.
Apparently, an infant who was not old enough to receive the pertussis vaccine was exposed to pertussis in a pediatrician’s office. This baby wound up extremely sick and hospitalized due to his exposure to pertussis, a potentially fatal, contagious disease.
This situation poses a dilemma.
Some pediatricians are now refusing patients whose parents are not allowing them to be immunized .
Where is the balance here??? I am not quite sure.
Personally, I would not want my child exposed to these diseases because as a pediatric nurse I have seen how they can ravage a healthy child and in some cases steal their life.
I am also aware of and empathize with the parental fears that surround childhood vaccinations. These vaccinations have been associated with autism. Even though the evidence that at first supported these fears has been sited as flawed, the fear is still there.
So, how do we work with the parents and children who are not vaccinated against these childhood diseases and at the same time protect infants who are not yet vaccinated?
Is refusing to treat the unvaccinated the ethical way to approach this? I don’t think so.
Perhaps, there is a way to separate those who refuse to be vaccinated by making specific office hours when these children can be seen by the pediatrician…this would be expensive but could be an option.
What do you think as a parent…and how does this problem affect you?
Related links: No shot, no doc: Pediatricians refuse unvaccinated kids – TODAY Health – TODAY.com. http://parentingintheloop.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/more-on-vaccines-and-autism-from-march-of-dimes/ http://parentingintheloop.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/a-century-of-vaccine-scares-nytimes-com/