New England Doc: Vaccinate or Get Out
The vaccination “debate” has been going on for decades, but when a mainstream TV show like “The View” hires the very outspoken Jenny—vaccines cause autism—McCarthy, it puts unconventional views into the spotlight. According to the Los Angeles Times, study after study has debunked the “vaccines cause autism” myth, and yet, some parents are still choosing not to vaccinate.
Vaccine-preventable diseases like measles are coming back, and it all could be based on myths and half truths. On January 20, Mother Jones published a map titled The High Cost of Vaccine Hysteria. It’s a map of measles and mumps outbreaks around the world over the last five years, and it’s scarier than any R-rated movie out there.
That’s why a local pediatrician (well, he’s a New England doc who is writing anonymously under a pen name) has had enough, and he published a story on the Daily Beast last week telling parents, basically, to vaccinate or GTFO out of his office. Russell Saunders (not his real name) tells readers to vaccinate or get lost:
When parents of prospective patients come to visit my office to meet our providers and to decide if we’re the right practice for them, there are lots of things I make sure they know. I talk about the hospitals we’re affiliated with. I tell them when we’re open and how after-hours calls are handled. On my end, I like to know a bit about the child’s medical history, or if there are special concerns that expecting parents might have.
And then this: I always ask if the children are vaccinated, or if the parents intend to vaccinate once the child is born. If the answer is no, I politely and respectfully tell them we won’t be the right fit. We don’t accept patients whose parents won’t vaccinate them.
In the story, he is not saying that parents and doctors have to agree 100 percent of the time, but he does say that there needs to be trust, and he simply can not work any other way.
If vaccines caused the harms Jenny McCarthy and her ilk claim they do, then my persistence in giving them must say something horrifying about me. Why would you then want to bring your children to me when you’re worried about their illnesses? As a parent myself, I wouldn’t trust my children’s care to someone I secretly thought was a fool or a monster.
His reasons for not taking patients that have not been vaccinated are valid. He writes, “… I don’t want to have to worry that the two-week-old infant in my waiting room is getting exposed to a potentially-fatal case of pertussis if these parents bring their children in with a bad cough. It’s not just that I don’t want their kid to be the first case of epiglottitis I’ve ever seen in my career. Those are reasons enough, to be sure. But they’re not all.”
The bottom line is that if you choose to not vaccinate your children, then you should be prepared to find a physician that is okay with that. And hopefully, there are some out there that will work with you. (There must be, considering the high number of parents not vaccinating.) But here are some facts that Saunders outlined in his story, backed up by current, scientific evidence. Whatever you choose or not believe, this is the most up-to-date information on the matter as provided by the federal government:
- The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine does not cause autism.
- The HPV vaccine is safe.
- There is no threat to public health from thimerosal.