KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City woman said her son was kicked out of a Northland pediatric office because of a new immunization policy.
KMBC’s Bev Chapman reported that Priority Care Pediatrics on North Oak Trafficway adopted a policy it said will help keep more children healthy.
Patients at the clinic must follow the for childhood vaccinations schedule guidelines set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , or go somewhere else.
Angela Andrews said she’s taken her 2-year-old son, Elijah, to the same doctor’s office since he was a baby. She said she didn’t realize that delaying his vaccinations could derail his health-care routine.
“If we’re not going to get him on the CDC schedule, they’re not going to treat us,” Andrews told KMBC.
Andrews said Elijah is about three shots behind schedule — three out of the estimated 16 that children need before kindergarten.
Andrews said she’s concerned about small amounts of aluminum included in vaccinations, along with his overall health.
“I’m not the expert by any means, but I’m the expert when it comes to my son. He was sick a lot when he was younger. He was more susceptible to flu and colds. I just didn’t feel like vaccines were safe until he was hardier,” Andrews said.
“There is no reason not to get them on time. Any decision other than that means you’re leaving that child at risk,” said Dr. Alan Grimes with Priority Care Pediatrics.
Grimes said his office started notifying families about its policy because they felt other people were at risk when parents forgo on-time vaccinations.
Doctors refer to it as the Herd Benefit. If 100 children are vaccinated, on average the shot will not take on two in the group. Since the shots work on the majority, those two will be protected.
“When you start popping holes in that 98 percent bubble, then those two children are no longer safe anymore,” Grimes said.
“Vaccinations are important. I just don’t think the CDC’s schedule is friendly to all parents,” Andrews said.
Andrews said she will make sure her son gets the shots he needs before he turns 5.
Meanwhile, she’s looking for a new doctor, because her current pediatrician won’t see him.
“We can’t leave a child at risk. That’s the pledge we took when we became physicians, became pediatricians, is to protect children the best that we can. The decision to leave them unimmunized puts them at risk and we can’t support that,” Grimes said.
Priority Care Pediatrics said it will not refer patients to other practices that don’t follow the same guidelines.
For more information on the CDC’s guidelines for vaccines, visit cdc.gov/vaccines/.