A pediatric office in South Carolina is now refusing to see patients who are not vaccinated. A pediatrician explains why the new policy is necessary.
Unvaccinated Patient Turned Away
News about the new policy of CPG Pediatrics in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina emerged after Tamara Pickett was told her unvaccinated child will no longer receive treatment unless she gets vaccinated.
Pickett had been taking her 2-year-old daughter to the practice since she was 6 months old.
"That was one of the reasons we came to the practice because we were informed they were accepting patients that had not been vaccinated or did not plan on vaccinating," Pickett said.
She asked for written proof of the new policy, which has since been circulating on social media.
Policy Intends To Protect Patients
In an interview, Marc Bahan of CPG Pediatrics said his office is turning away unvaccinated patients under a new policy aimed at protecting patients.
Bahan said having unvaccinated children coming to the pediatric office, where there are many children at high risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases seems inappropriate.
He explained the newly established policy is necessary since a number of patients being cared for at the office have weakened immune systems.
"We have patients on chemotherapy with cancer, we have patients coming in here with severe congenital heart diseases. All of these patients can potentially die if they contract one of these diseases," Bahan said.
Measles Outbreak In The United States
The office adopted the new policy as health officials and lawmakers in the United States scramble to contain measles outbreak. Measles cases have already been confirmed in 10 states, namely New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
More than 90 percent of residents in South Carolina are vaccinated. Some experts, however, expressed concerns of a possible measles outbreak given the significant increase in the number of students who were given vaccination exemptions for religious reasons. From 2014 to 2018, the number of students who were exempt for vaccinations rose by nearly 20,000.