Vaccines are a hot topic these days. I’d like to state on the onset that I and my staff are unequivocally in favor of protecting children and adults with vaccines recommended for their stage in life. In the last hundred years, vaccines have been part of the arsenal used to reduce mortality especially in children. Illnesses that were commonly fatal twenty years ago are now a rare occurrence. Hopefully, one day, we’ll eradicate many of these plaques much like what occurred with small pox. Once the danger passes, the vaccines will no longer be necessary. Until that day, we will advocate for every advantage for our children to protect them from an early death.
We can administer some vaccines for our patients. We do this at huge discount from local retail clinics. For instance, at the time of this writing, we offer Tdap vaccination (protection against tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis, or whooping cough) for about $50. The local retail clinic up the street offers it for $85.
That being said, many of our patients have alternative means to pay for vaccines and do not need to pay for them out of pocket. The state run Vaccines For Children (VFC) program offers free to low cost vaccines at the local health department for uninsured children (includes members of cost sharing cooperatives) as well as patients with private insurance. We work with each patient to develop a plan for them to obtain their vaccines at the lowest cost even if it isn’t through our office.
Most Pillar PC pediatric patients receive their vaccines on schedule through the Knox County Health Department vaccination clinic. This is the ethos of our practice, to protect our youngest, most vulnerable patients from pathogens that are fatal or permanently disabling.
I discourage the use of alternative or delayed schedules.
In plain language, parents seeking an unquestioning alternative vaccination provider should not join the Pillar PC program.