Westeros Family Practice
Iryna Serembytsky, M.D.
Call Us: (708) 442-7174
The physicians and staff at Westeros Family Practice support immunizations.
Westeros Family Practice physicians agree that they will not accept any new patients to our practice who do not vaccinate. Our primary concern is the safety of all our patients. We encourage our current families with unvaccinated children to talk about immunization concerns and to begin the catch-up schedule to begin your child’s vaccinations.
We recognize that there has always been and will likely always be controversy surrounding vaccination. This controversy has been propagated by celebrities and misinformation regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines. What should be a straightforward decision based on scientific data has become an emotionally charged debate.
After publication of an unfounded accusation (later retracted) that MMR vaccine caused autism in 1998, many people in Europe chose not to vaccinate their children. As a result of underimmunization, there were large outbreaks of measles, with several deaths from complications of the disease. In 2010 there were more than 3000 cases of whooping cough in California, with nine deaths in children less than six months of age. Again, many of those who contracted the illness (and then passed it on to the infants, who were too young to have been fully vaccinated) had made a conscious decision not to vaccinate.
Vaccine effectiveness relies on the concept of herd immunity. The higher the percentage of the population that is vaccinated, the more effective we are at providing an umbrella of protection for not only ourselves, but for those that cannot be vaccinated due to immunodeficiency, illnesses, and age (i.e. infants). With the increasing rate of noncompliance with vaccinations in certain pockets of the population, we have seen firsthand the breakdown of herd immunity and emergence of outbreaks. Diseases such as measles and whooping cough that had all but been eradicated in past due to vaccination are now reemerging at an alarming rate.
If you have any questions about vaccine safety, please discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor. Parents who choose not to immunize their children place their children and the people around their children at risk of serious illnesses. We do not want to place the rest of our patients at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable illnesses.