Creation of a COVID-19 vaccine is the crown jewel of the White House’s COVID-19 response. President Trump unrealistically named the tedious and time-consuming endeavor “Operation Warp Speed.” To be licensed for use, a novel vaccine must be tested for safety, immune system reactivity, and protective value in humans, which can take up to 10-15 years. Unlike medications, which treat patients with a medical condition, vaccines are given to healthy people, therefore the safety margin must be extraordinarily high.
I believe in parent choice and do not believe in mandates when discussing healthcare. Patients must have autonomy. I use an alternative vaccination schedule when my vaccine-hesitant families request it. Mine evolved over time to complete most of the required vaccinations by the time a child is 2 years old. It is not “evidence-based”, the catchphrase we use to say something is scientifically proven safe and effective. However, it is rooted in something I value highly as a pediatrician – trust, open communication, and compromise.