Hillcrest Pediatrics Vaccination
Hillcrest Pediatric Clinic strives to provide comprehensive, compassionate, and top quality healthcare to all of our patients and families. One of the most important services we can provide our patients is vaccinations against life threatening diseases. We firmly agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAPD) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that childhood vaccines are critical to maintaining healthy children and communities. As medical professionals, we feel that vaccinating children on schedule is absolutely the right thing to do for all children and young adults.
We have written this letter to let you know that Hillcrest Pediatrics Clinic has changed its vaccination policy. Our goal is to be certain our facilities are safe for all of our patients, which includes over 9,000 infants, children, and adolescents with a broad range of healthcare conditions.
The recent outbreak of measles starting with one case in California led to over 100 cases in at least seven states. This event reemphasized for us how easily measles and other dangerous vaccine- preventable illnesses can spread and how important it is to us as physicians that we maintain safe facilities for all of our patients, including our most vulnerable patients, such as infants who have not yet had the full range of vaccinations, immunocompromised children such as those with complex heart disease, sickle cell anemia, cancer, autoimmune disorders, or other conditions that require medications to decrease their immune system..
Therefore, Hillcrest Pediatric Clinic pediatricians have decided that our physicians will no longer continue seeing patients whose parents refuse to immunize them according to the required vaccination schedule, unless they meet certain specific medical criteria. We are asking all of our currently unvaccinated patients, or those behind on the Texas Minimum State Vaccine Requirements for Students Grades K- 12, to talk with us about their immunization concerns and encourage them to begin to implement the CDC vaccine catch up schedule. If you refuse to vaccinate your child according to the schedule, we will ask you to find another provider who shares your view.
Hillcrest Pediatric Clinic physicians support immunizations. And while we respect and honor the right of families to choose to defer vaccinations for their children, we feel that we must make this change for the good of all. To those parents who have deferred vaccinations, we will ask for your thoughtful consideration in meeting with us to discuss your concerns and begin the CDC vaccination catch- up schedule, either at your child’s next well visit or at a separate visit, whichever one is most convenient.
We understand that our new policy will not be acceptable for some families. We want to express our gratitude to all parents who have entrusted the care of your children to us. We have tremendous respect for the hard and emotionally difficult work of parenting. It is our privilege to be on your team and we would be happy to discuss this further with you at your next visit.