The physicians and staff at Austin Regional Clinic support immunizations. Austin Regional Clinic pediatricians and family medicine physicians agree that our physicians 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.
Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations
Medical experts agree that the development of immunizations was one of the most significant medical advancements of the 20th century. Today, thanks to the development and widespread use of vaccines, the frequency of these illnesses has been vastly reduced, and in some cases almost eliminated.
A helpful image that illustrates the history of vaccine prevention is that of a boat filled with water due to a small leak – imagine that water as the illnesses we are trying to prevent and the boat being our communities. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. We have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t disappeard, just as measles, whooping cough, polio and other diseases have not gone away completely. If we let our guard down on the boat, we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started. Letting our guard down with vaccines would result in more of our children in hospitals or dying from illnesses they could have been protected against.
It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.
Keep immunizing until disease is eliminated
Unfortunately many parents are confused about the value and safety of vaccines due to misinformation. Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.
We vaccinate to protect our future
We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. With one disease, smallpox, we “stopped the leak” in the boat by eradicating the disease. Our children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. Smallpox is now only a memory, and if we keep vaccinating against other diseases, the same will someday be true for them too. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.
We’re happy to talk to you about your concerns
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.
Recommended Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedule, 0 -18 years
Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, 19 and up
Whooping Cough Facts
Vaccines & Immunizations: Education
Measles in Texas
Shot By Shot - stories of vaccine preventable diseases
The Last of the Iron Lungs
Confronting Cancer: MD Anderson supports the HPV vaccine
Vaccines—Calling the Shots