Dear Children's Clinic Patients,
We stand behind immunizations.
We are confident in the effectiveness of immunizations in preventing serious illnesses. Immunizations are safe, and it has been proven that they do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.
Our providers immunize their children according to the standard immunization schedule.
Delaying or "breaking up the immunizations" to give one or two at a time goes against expert recommendations, can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death), and goes against our medical advice. The recommended immunization schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics results from years of scientific study and data gathering and has saved the lives of thousands of children.
Immunizations protect your friends and our community.
By not immunizing your child, you are jeopardizing the health of our community and placing vulnerable children at greater risk. An unimmunized child can carry and spread life-threatening germs to others. Children at risk of getting sick include newborns, young children who have not yet completed their immunizations, children with immunodeficiency who are not allowed to get all the immunizations, and some children with cancer. Pregnant women are also at increased risk. We see all these patients in our exam rooms, and they all sit in our waiting rooms. We believe it is our job to protect these patients and the community's health.
Immunizations are a safe way to protect your child from deadly diseases.
Because immunizations are so effective at preventing illness, many of you have never seen a child with polio, tetanus, whooping cough, bacterial meningitis, or even chickenpox, or known a friend or family member whose child died of one of these diseases. However, since many children have not been immunized over the past several years, some of these diseases are now making a comeback. Montana has seen outbreaks of pertussis ("whooping cough") and measles.
Measles cases are the highest they have been in 20 years in the US. In other countries, there has also been a rise in polio – a disease that has not been seen in the United States since 1979. In a world connected by plane travel, it will take just one traveler to risk the resurgence of polio in the United States. We've seen this all too clearly with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immunizations are a safe and important part of your child's health.
We firmly believe that immunizing children and young adults may be the single most important health-promoting intervention we perform as health care providers and that you can perform as parents/caregivers.
We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you, but to emphasize the importance of immunizing your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to reassure you that immunizing your child according to the recommended schedule is the right thing to do.
Thank you for your attention in reading the facts on immunizations. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about immunizations with any one of us.
Your providers at the Children's Clinic.