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Should physicians see vaccine refusing families? Some parents say they’d switch

Should pediatricians accept unvaccinated children as patients? A new poll suggests many doctors could lose many of their vaccinated patients if they do.

10-year-old Miley is getting the vaccine for HPV, to protect against the human papillomavirus. Her mom Kelli Howard makes sure all her children get their shots on schedule.

Kelli says, “From day one, I never thought anything otherwise. They were gonna be vaccinated, and that was that.”

Children who see pediatrician Dr. Charles Goodman must get the required vaccines that protect against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, and whooping cough.

Dr. Goodman says, “Healthy children who can receive vaccines must receive those vaccines, and they must do that on schedule, otherwise we will not have them as our patients.”

A new national poll shows four in 10 parents say they are “very” or “somewhat likely” to take their child to a different doctor if the physician sees families who refuse all childhood vaccines. The University of Michigan poll is based on responses from more than 2,000 parents. It also found three in 10 parents say their child’s primary care office should ask parents who refuse all vaccines to find another health provider.

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