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I'm grateful the AAP now permits dismissal of vaccine refusing families. However, while noting "There has also been greater recognition among pediatricians that delayed or incomplete vaccination schedules are probably responsible, at least in part, for the spread of measles in that outbreak ", you did not acknowledge that a primary cause of delayed/ incomplete vaccination schedules are “celebrity” anti-vaccine pediatricians who carry the title of FAAP:
1. Pediatrician “A” practices in Southern California. He created a DVD in 2006 titled “Vaccinations? Assessing the Risks and Benefits”.
2. Pediatrician “B” practices in Southern California, authoring in 2007 “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child” which, in its 2nd edition, has sold over 250,000 copies.
3. Pediatrician “C” practices in Oregon and has just co-authored a book titled “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan”.
All three FAAP pediatricians promote “individualized” vaccine schedules deviating severely from the AAP schedule. All three tell parents it is acceptable to skip vaccines for reasons far outside CDC guidelines. All three pediatricians maintain that vaccines can cause autism and tell parents not to vaccinate any of their children if any child of theirs has autism. All three pediatricians have grossly understated the morbidity and mortality of many vaccine-preventable diseases, especially measles.
Individually, “A” told parents not to vaccinate thei...
Individually, “A” told parents not to vaccinate their children during a 2012 measles outbreak in Ventura County, CA and told CBS LA that the 2015 “Disneyland” measles outbreak was “definitely being over promoted as a large and dangerous outbreak”. The book by pediatrician “B” was called a “key source” for vaccine delay by an Orange County (where “B” practices) Medical Director based on parent focus group studies done there in 2012. In a 2014 LA Times article, “B” notes that half his patients forego vaccines altogether—with no concern by “B” for this severe deviation from the standard of care. From the same LA Times article “B” states, ‘ "I do think the disease danger is low enough where I think you can safely raise an unvaccinated child in today's society," he said. "It may not be good for the public health. But … for your individual child, I think it is a safe enough choice."’. Pediatrician “C” is using his non-peer-reviewed book to claim the elimination of autism in his patient population by delaying or skipping vaccines altogether.
As a pediatrician I have seen many parents scared out of vaccinating by what “A” and “B” have stated (and I expect to see parents citing the book by “C” soon). My practice area experienced pertussis and measles outbreaks (Tucson, 2008, 2013) directly attributable to decreasing vaccination rates. I am not a “celebrity” pediatrician like “A”, “B”, or “C” which makes it difficult if not impossible to effectively refute them in the exam room when parents have already and bought into what they say. It would help all pediatricians if the AAP publicly divorced itself from these three FAAP pediatricians, to openly show their anti-vaccine “advice” is unsound, unscientific, and unsafe.
--Chris Hickie, MD, PhD
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