Seeking a Pediatrician Open to Delayed Vaccinations

Editor Note (2017) BPN no longer accepts recommendations for pediatricians who support not vaccinating.  To our knowledge, there are no pediatricians in the area who do not endorse recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  BPN does not want to publish recommendations for pediatricians said to be "anti-vax friendly" who do not actually hold that view.

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi! I want to state up front that after living for many years in Africa I am VERY pro-vaccine - but I am alarmed by the intensity of the modern baby vaccination schedule, and would like to slowly give my child all the required vaccinations one at a time, over his first 2-3 years. Can anyone recommend a Kaiser Oakland pediatrician who might be okay about this kind of non-normative vaccine schedule - and who you would highly suggest as a hugely competent, thoughtful pediatrician? I am a global human rights lawyer and am also looking for a kind, thoughtful, relaxed doctor for my future child who will be okay with me asking a million questions and doing my own research and having a lot of strong opinions :) Thank you so much!!

    My pediatrician, Dr Jennifer Tenney, is open to slow vaccine schedules. I believe her panel is full but you can be added to her wait list. Or try to see her for a sick visit (if any come up) and then ask her if there’s space on her panel. 
    i didn’t end up doing a slower vaccine schedule because it meant more trips to the clinic during the height of the pandemic. But I had initially asked her and she was very open and non-judgmental. She’s laid back and WONDERFUL! 

    My experience with Kaiser Oakland starting in 2012 was that they were fine stretching out the vaccine schedule, as long as you were getting all the vaccines. As soon as I mentioned it, a medical assistant pulled out a sheet with the vaccine schedule from "Dr. Bob." (It was some xeroxed notes, not something Kaiser formally endorsed.) 

    I am the same kind of person you are. I'm not sure many Kaiser doctors will take a lot of time to discuss research with you, since they tend to all follow the same protocols.

    We have found all the pediatricians at Kaiser to be very open and non-judgemental about choosing to do a slower/modified vaccine schedule. We debated about doing the same thing and everyone was great about discussing it with us. Our kids started off with Dr. Susan Goddard and then switched over to Dr. Ping Chouw, but we've met with a variety of folks over the years - all at Oakland Kaiser. Good luck!


    I don't have a specific doctor to recommend, but my kids (now teens) were Kaiser babies, and I spoke with their pediatrician initially and communicated that while I wanted them to be fully vaccinated, I didn't want them to receive all of them at once (especially those first few rounds). She (now retired) was very willing to let me space them out. So my advice is to just be open with the provider when you find one, and it's more than likely if you intend to fully vaccinate, they will be ok with you spacing it out.

    Hi!  We have Dr. Phan Phu at Kaiser as my son's pediatrician and he's been flexible with us around vaccinations.  He'll always tell us why we should go with the recommended schedule but I never felt immense pressure, plus I knew we would never go that route.  We only just started vaccinating my son who turned 3 years old in November.  I created a schedule that aligns with BUSD's requirements for school in a couple of years and provided that to Dr. Phu to sign on off on so my son could enter preschool last month.  Happy to share that with you if you'd like.  Cheers!

    I have Kaiser for my 2 young kids and have found that if you decide your own schedule, which there is info on the CDC website on the spacing between vaccines you can make your own schedule and I have found multiple doctors to be ok with it. Some of the pediatricians I think have been doubtful of me actually going through with the slower schedule. But once they trusted I was making the time and effort they came around. This used to be much easier as you could just drop into the injection clinic and now you need appointments with the pandemic. Good luck! I agree, the slower schedule really makes sense and gives ease of mind and my kids have not had big reactions or fevers related to their vaccines this way and it gives me an eye on if they are reacting to something specific. Reach out directly if you would like to talk more. 

  • Hello, parents. Having my first baby this September 2017 and I'm seeking for a Kaiser Oakland Pediatrician or Family Practitioner who is open to alternative / delayed vaccine schedule. Thanks.

    Hi and congrats on your upcoming new arrival! I understand this is not responsive to your question, but I would encourage you to consider sticking to the schedule that has been researched, vetted, and approved of by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I know it seems like a lot of shots for a little baby. But this is my story. My baby got whooping cough (pertussis) in 2013 when he was three months old. It was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. And was I glad we he'd had his two-month DTaP vaccine on time a month earlier at 2 months of age (they are scheduled for two months, four months, and six months). If I'd gone with an "alternative / delayed" schedule, he could have died. Because he'd had his first vaccine at 2 months, he had at least some immunity to help him fight the disease. Though he was very sick and hospitalized for a week, he was healthy enough to stay out if the ICU -- and he survived what is often a fatal disease for young infants who have no immunizations at all. Just something to consider.

    - Oakland mama who is pretty crunchy, but not when it comes to life-threatening diseases

    I think you are going to have a hard time finding one unless your baby is born with a medical condition that requires it (and you wouldn't want that!). Your baby is not even born yet, my advice is try not to start overthinking things now or the next 20 years are going to be a lot more complicated than necessary. (signed, mom of an healthy 17 year old who has had every vaccination as scheduled including optional ones HPV and meningitis)

Parent Reviews

The docs at East Bay Pediatrics are wonderful. Also wonderful? Vaccines!! Including the 2 month DTaP shot that helped my son survive "P" of DTaP (pertussis) when he was 3 months old. A "less aggressive" vaccination schedule would have left him completely vulnerable. Just something to think about as you make your vaccination decisions.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Kaiser doctors who won't be pushy about vaccines

Nov 2015

Hi, I am asking this question again since things may have changed after the outbreaks of Measles and Pertussis in the last five years. I have Kaiser and need a pediatrician who will not lecture me about getting my 4 month old vaccinated at every visit. I am trying to use an alternate schedule and space out the injections but all of my reasons (including a family history of bad vaccine reactions) seem to go in one ear and out the other of our current pediatrician. I usually take my son to Oakland but I'm willing to travel a bit for a good doc. Thanks in advance for your input. Ariana O.

I think you'll have a hard time finding a Kaiser pediatrician who won't talk to you about vaccines if your child is due -- since then you'd have a doc who isn't practicing the standard of care, and doesn't care enough about your child to at least have that discussion. In many practices these days, you'd be discharged from the practice for choosing not to protect your child with the shots. They won't do that at Kaiser, so at least they'll continue to work with you and care for your baby in other ways, regardless of your decision about immunizing. Anon

Doctor for Vaccine Medical Exemption

May 2015

I am looking for a doctor who will write my child a vaccine medical exemption letter as due to family health issues vaccines would compromise their health. Thank you. A Concerned Parent

If you have a legitimate reason to avoid vaccinations, then your regular pediatrician will write you an exemption. If you can't convince the doctors at East Bay Medical, Kiwi Pediatrics, or Kaiser's pediatric department that you have a legitimate need to delay, you should listen to them. They are compassionate, well-informed and empathetic.

Your regular pediatrician can write the exemption for you. There is no need to shop around. If medical reasons exist that justify not vaccinating, any doctor will support you. However, if you're shopping around because you don't have medical reasons to support your request, you should really think again. It's a terrible thing to expose someone else's child to a deadly disease just because you don't want to vaccinate your child. Talk to your pediatrician

Any pediatrician will sign a medical exemption form when there is a true medical exemption. I don't know what your family member's health issue is, and yet the good news is that there are very few reasons (essentially none) where a child cannot be protected through vaccination when a family member has a health issue. In fact, it's highly recommended to protect kids in a household with vaccines when a household member has an immunocompromising condition (for example) -- this is the best way to protect such vulnerable family members from getting ill. Again, I don't know what your family health issue is, and I'm sure you're very concerned about doing the best for everyone. If you have further worries, perhaps your family member's doctor can write a letter to your pediatrician, outlining his or her concerns about your own child getting protected. That will help everyone have the best info to keep everyone in your family optimally protected. local doc

Any pediatrician will exempt your child from all or specific vaccines if there is a medical contraindication. However there are no contraindications due to family history -- they're all due to personal medical or vaccine history. If someone in the home has a severe immunodeficiency then some providers might exempt you from live-virus vaccines. If you don't want vaccines because of a family history but there's no medical evidence to support your conclusion then you're basically asking for a medical provider to say that you're right and medical science is wrong. I don't know any who would do so. local pediatrician

Not sure what the issue is here. If your child truly has a medical condition that would mean that vaccinations would not work or would compromise their health ANY physician would be able to do that. There is no special doctor for that. Another mom

If your child has a diagnosed health condition for which vaccination is contraindicated, you should have no problem getting a vaccination exemption letter from any pediatrician. Anonymous

June 2009

RE: Pediatrician who honors an ''alternative'' vaccine schedule

The poster is asking for a flexible schedule, and has received that information. But for the sake of the child, and because of misinformation provided at times in response to this question, I would like to provide some documented information as a physician and Berkeley parent.

Pediatric vaccines are recommended because they prevent devastating diseases, which are not entirely absent in the US today. A mother of a 7 month old in Minnesota discovered this when her child died of Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) meningitis in 2008, when she had delayed vaccination because of concerns about possible adverse effects. This case is reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, January 30, 2009 / 58(03);58-60 which states ''...During 2008 in Minnesota, five children aged 5 months to 3 years were reported with invasive Hib disease; one died. The patients resided in five different counties in Minnesota and had no known relationship to each other. Three patients had received no vaccinations because of parent or guardian deferral or refusal....''

Overall, Hib disease has around a 5% fatality rate--and about a quarter of survivors of meningitis have long term neurologic damage. The Hib vaccine is over 95% effective, and very safe. I think it is crucial for parents to have accurate information in making important decisions for their children.

informed decision maker