Seeking a Pediatrician Open to Delayed/Refused Vaccinations

Editor Note (2017) BPN no longer accepts recommendations for pediatricians who support not vaccinating or delaying vaccinations.  To our knowledge, there are no pediatricians in the area who do NOT follow the vaccination schedule recommended 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

  • 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