Welcome to the Health Care Professionals Section
Resource Areas
Top Searches

Get Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
Many of the downloadable documents on this site may be viewed or printed using Adobe® Acrobat® software. Click on the icon below to download Acrobat® Reader® directly from http://www.adobe.com.

Live Well San Diego Website
Click on the logo above to learn more about Live Well San Diego an initiative of the County of San Diego to improve health, safety and well-being for all residents.

Health Care Professionals

Vaccine Refusal ~ Clear Communication

The Problem With Dr Bob's Alternative Vaccine Schedule


(download PDF)

or visit the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics website

Dealing with Parental Immunization Refusals

Most parents believe in the benefits of immunization for their children. However, health care providers may encounter parents who question the need for or safety of childhood vaccines.

Effective, empathetic communication is critical in responding to parents who are considering not vaccinating their children. Parents should be helped to feel comfortable voicing any concerns or questions they have about vaccination, and providers should be prepared to listen and respond effectively.

Download Materials Below:

Respect - Educate - Communicate

Many of the concerns that providers have about caring for unimmunized children can be addressed.

“I don’t want to be held responsible if the child contracts a vaccine-preventable disease”
Liability to a provider in case of an occurrence of a vaccine-preventable disease in an unimmunized patient can be addressed by documenting in writing all immunization discussions and parent refusals in the patient’s record. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a refusal to vaccinate form.

“If a parent doesn’t trust my judgment about vaccines, they won’t heed my advice regarding other issues”
A parent’s reluctance to heed immunization advice does not necessarily mean that the parent will dismiss other medical advice.

“I don’t want to put my other patients at risk”
Doctors’ offices and clinics can manage the risks of transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases in their facilities by adopting the same methods used to control other communicable diseases.
Excluding patients from your practice whose parents decline immunizations is not deemed the best public health strategy. Remember, unimmunized young children did not decide for themselves to forgo vaccination. If you don’t care for them, who will?

Adapted from material on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: