Stories about: Ronald Samuels

The unvaccinated: To treat or not to treat?

doctor hands behind back unvaccinated children
(Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock)

The debate continues — should a provider treat an unvaccinated patient? In a 2012 statement, the AAP recommended that pediatricians should not refuse unvaccinated children. A new survey published this month in the journal Pediatrics, however, found that 21 percent of pediatricians do so anyway, “often or always” dismissing families from their practice for refusing at least one infant vaccine.

Ronald Samuels, MD, MPH, associate medical director of Boston Children’s Primary Care at Longwood, is not surprised at the results of the survey. “We see ourselves as a safety net provider and do not feel we can or should turn any patient away, but we worry about the increased risk unvaccinated children present to other patients in the practice. I have very mixed feelings about this.”

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