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1744 Alcatraz Avenue
South Berkeley, CA, 94703

510-652-1720

Vaccinations

Kiwi Pediatrics Vaccine Policy

We firmly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives.

We firmly believe in the safety of our vaccines.

We firmly believe that all children and young adults should receive all of the recommended vaccines according to the schedule published by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and we fully support California's law to ensure immunization prior to school entry. 

We firmly believe, based on all available literature, evidence and current studies, that vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities. We firmly believe that thimerosal, a preservative that has been in vaccines for decades and remains in some vaccines, does not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.  At Kiwi Pediatrics, our infant vaccines are thimerosal free. Vaccines are rigorously studied and monitored for safety before and after licensing; you can find more information on the CDC website.

We firmly believe that vaccinating 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. The recommended vaccines and their schedule given are the results of years and years of scientific study and data-gathering on millions of children by thousands of our brightest scientists and physicians.

These things being said, we recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversies surrounding vaccination. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin, persuaded by his brother, was opposed to smallpox vaccine until scientific data convinced him otherwise. Tragically, he had delayed inoculating his favorite son, Frankie, who contracted smallpox and died at the age of 4, leaving Ben with a lifetime of guilt and remorse. Quoting Mr. Franklin’s autobiography:

In 1736, I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox ... long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it, my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.

The vaccine campaign is truly a victim of its own success. It is precisely because vaccines are so effective at preventing illness that we are even discussing whether or not they should be given. Because of vaccines, 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 from one of these diseases. Such success can make us complacent or even lazy about vaccinating. But such an attitude, if it becomes widespread, can only lead to tragic results. 

Recently, in California, there were several measles outbreaks, and in 2014 the United States experienced a record number of measles cases.  For more information on measles, please visit the CDC website.Another vaccine preventable disease, whooping cough (pertussis), has been on the rise as well in the East Bay.  In April 2008, an outbreak at a local school caused the school to close and the entire student body was prescribed antibiotics.

Furthermore, by not vaccinating your child you are taking advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We would appeal to your basic sense of fairness that you would help protect their children as they are helping to protect yours. We would appeal to your sense of community that you would want to help protect your neighbors’ children as they are helping to protect yours.

We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do. However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with us in advance of your well child visit. In some cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or "breaking up the vaccines" to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against Kiwi Pediatrics and other expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death). Such additional visits may require additional co-pays on your part. Furthermore, please realize that you will be required to sign a "Refusal to Vaccinate" acknowledgement in the event of lengthy delays. We ask families who chose to use a different vaccination schedule than we (and the CDC and AAP) recommend, to bring their written schedule to Kiwi no later than the 2 month visit (or within a month of transferring to the practice for older children).

As medical professionals, we feel very strongly that vaccinating children on schedule with currently available vaccines is absolutely the right thing to do for all children and young adults.

Thank you for your time in reading this policy, and please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with any one of us.


Vaccination Schedule

Immunization Schedule for Children (birth through 6 years)

 

Immunization Schedule for Preteens and Teens (ages 7-18)

 

For more information, visit the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html


Additional Vaccine Information

Immunizations required for California school entry: download PDF  

California Vaccines For Children www.eziz.org

Centers For Disease Control & Prevention www.cdc.gov

Immunization Action Coalition www.vaccineinformation.org

American Academy of Pediatrics www.cispimmunize.org

National Network for Immunization Information www.immunizationinfo.org

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia www.chop.edu

WebMD www.webmd.com