A pediatrician’s Facebook plea from 2015 is going viral again… because some parents still need to hear it.
We all know that skipping vaccinations is a terrible idea, but some parents are so skeptical of these miracles of modern medicine that they become convinced that a “delayed” vaccination schedule is better for their kids. This theory has no science behind it and has never been proven to be true.
“Children do not receive any known benefits from following schedules that delay vaccines,” says the CDC. “Delaying vaccines puts children at known risk of becoming ill with diseases that could have been prevented.”
Dr. Mike Ginsberg, a pediatrician from California, had a very strong reaction to the Measles outbreak of 2015. He posted this message for his patients on Facebook. It went viral then, and it’s quickly going viral again, after someone shared it on Imgur.
“In my practice you will vaccinate and you will vaccinate on time,” his post begins. “You will not get your own ‘spaced out’ schedule that increases your child’s risk of illness or adverse event. I will not have measles-shedding children sitting in my waiting room.”
There’s one doctor who has been in the spotlight for recommending alternative vaccine schedules to paranoid parents. Dr. Robert Sears has made his career out of feeding into vaccine skeptics. His “alternative schedule” increases the number of office visits, likely decreasing immunization rates. “Increasing the number of vaccines, the number of office visits, and the ages at which vaccines are administered will likely decrease immunization rates,” writes Dr. Paul A. Offit for the AAP. “In addition to the logistic problem of requiring so many office visits, Sears’ recommendation might have another negative consequence; [in 2009] outbreaks of measles showed that several children acquired the disease while waiting in their pediatricians’ offices.” So Dr. Ginsberg has a real point.
“I have patients who are premature infants with weak lungs and hearts,” he writes. “I have kids with complex congenital heart disease… In short, I have patients who have true special needs and true health issues who could suffer severe injury or death because of your magical belief that your kid is somehow more special than other children and that what’s good for other children is not good for yours.”
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Committee on Infectious Diseases advises the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Collectively, these advisory committees and their parent agencies have the expertise in virology, microbiology, statistics, epidemiology, and pathogenesis necessary to review the studies that inform their recommendations,” says an abstract in the AAP. “Their advice to doctors has served us well; during the past century, vaccines have helped to increase the lifespan of individuals in the United States by ∼30 years, with an excellent record of safety.”
Vaccines are truly the biggest miracle of modern medicine. And if parents decide against them, this doctor has these final words… “This pediatrician is not putting up with it. Never have, never will.”