Jefferson County has one of the highest rates of non-vaccinated children in Washington State. This dangerous situation leaves us vulnerable to possibly disastrous outbreaks of disease that could get out of hand much faster than our ability to save people when it happens. It is not unreasonable for pediatricians who’s primary job is to keep children healthy to not want to work with families who insist on not vaccinating their children.
The Washington Post has reported that pediatricians have become increasingly likely to dismiss families who refuse vaccination and that some families will only choose physicians who require other families to vaccinate. [Sun LH. Parents are insisting on doctors who insist on vaccinations. Washington Post, Nov 20, 2106] Dismissal “as a last resort” is supported by the Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, which recently concluded: “The decision to dismiss a family who continues to refuse immunization is not one that should be made lightly, nor should it be made without considering and respecting the reasons for the parents’ point of view. Nevertheless, the individual pediatrician may consider dismissal of families who refuse vaccination as an acceptable option.” [Edwards K, Hackel JM. Countering vaccine hesitancy, Pediatrics 138, 2016