LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Should pediatricians accept children who are not vaccinated as patients? A new poll suggests that doctors could lose many of their vaccinated patients if they do.
The University of Michigan poll asked more than 2,000 parents across the country with at least one child under the age of 18 about how primary care offices should handle children whose parents refuse all vaccines.
According to the results, 4 in 10 parents said they were very or somewhat likely to take their child to a different doctor if their current physician saw patients who refused all childhood vaccines. And 3 in 10 of those parents surveyed said that a physician should ask parents refusing vaccinations to find another primary care provider.
“Healthy children who can receive vaccines, must receive those vaccines and must do that on schedule, otherwise we will not have them as our patients,” Dr. Charles Goodman, a Northridge-based pediatrician, said.
After the 2015 measles outbreak at Disneyland, Goodman implemented the policy to keep his patients safe. And after some initial backlash to the policy, he said the new poll results were good news.
“It means to me that parents are getting the message,” Goodman said. “Parents are now understanding these vaccines are lifesaving.”
The study results go on to say that children who are completely unvaccinated are not only completely unprotected from diseases such as measles, pertussis and chicken pox; they also pose a risk of infecting others.
Doctors say parents — especially those with infants or immunocompromised children — should ask their primary care providers about their policies on unvaccinated children.