Pediatricians Refusing To See Unvaccinated Children

August 16, 2017
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Parents in Florida were shocked after they were kicked out of local pediatric offices for refusing to vaccinate their kids.

“We want everyone vaccinated and caught up with the CDC schedule by age of 2,” says Dr. Thomas Connolly, a pediatrician with the Carithers Pediatric Group.

The decision to not vaccinate kids is becoming more common locally.

The number of religious exemptions for kindergarten students went up by 7 times in Clay County, 17 times for Duval County and 25 times for St. Johns County. Data however also shows that 93 percent to 96 percent of students have all the vaccinations required to start school.

Connolly said that he strongly encourages all of his patients to get vaccinated.

It’s nothing personal against you as a person, I respect your decision that is your decision, but my medical decision and my background and my belief is I want the child vaccinated to maximize their defense,” Connolly said.

He’s reportedly not the only practice in Jacksonville strictly enforcing the guidelines. Rainbow Pediatrics also recently changed their vaccine policy.

“My oldest son is 13 and just recently, I took them into the same pediatrician’s office and they informed me at the end of the visit that they would no longer see my children because I don’t vaccinate them,” says Lauren McGuinnes, a mother of four. She said she stopped vaccinating her children several years ago, but what shocked when Rainbow Pediatrics refused to continue providing care for them.

Parents are kind of being bullied to vaccinate” she said.

Connolly says that turning patients away is not an easy decision, but one that he feels is necessary to protect other children from serious illnesses.

“If a child is not vaccinated intentionally, comes back from a trip, brings back measles or something along that line and goes into the waiting room and we have babies or kids who are on steroids or chemo type thing, they just got everybody,” Connolly said.

Connolly said that he’s willing to discuss an alternate vaccine schedule with parents, but he will not see patients who opt out altogether.

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