If Dr. Mike Ginsberg is your baby's doctor, your child is getting his or her vaccination shots. That's the beginning and the end of the story.
In 2015, the California pediatrician wrote up an impassioned response to "anti-vaxxers" - those opposed to vaccinating their children in fear that the vaccine will cause life-long adverse effects - where it later went viral on Imgur. It's resurfacing and making the rounds again, today, sparking the same controversy. "In my practice you will vaccinate and you will vaccinate on time," he wrote. "You will not get your own 'spaced-out' schedule that increases your child's risk of illness or adverse event. I will not have measles-shedding children sitting in my waiting room."
His reasoning for taking such a strong stance? Some kids medically can't receive vaccines - Ginsberg explained that one of his little patients in his practice, North Bay Healthcare, has lymphoblastic leukemia and can't be up to date on his shots. Other children, he said, have complex diseases or compromised immune systems and rely on herd immunity (community-based immunity achieved when a large number of the population has been vaccinated), to ensure that they don't pick up an illness that could kill them on the playground.
"I will answer all your questions about vaccines and present you with facts, but if you will not vaccinate then you will leave my practice," he wrote. "I will file a CPS (Child Protective Services) report (not that they will do anything) for medical neglect, too."
With recent debates over the safety of vaccines, the pediatrician's extreme stance is a controversial one. But of the 1,136 comments on Imgur, most are overwhelmingly supportive. "It should be a school requirement to be vaccinated to be accepted unless you're medically unfit for them," one commenter wrote. "Not gonna lie, I don't want my kids going to a doctor that also sees unvaccinated kids. Keep them out of my waiting room please," wrote another.
Of the commenters in opposition, most took issue with Ginsberg's decision to call CPS on anti-vaxxers. "Fine to choose what patients to serve," someone wrote. "Not find to use CPS irresponsibly against people making a choice which is legally theirs to make."
But that's not entirely true - California passed legislation in 2015 that made vaccinations 100% mandatory for school entry (allowing for necessary medical exemptions), disregarding parents' wishes and religious beliefs. In the rest of the U.S., parents are allowed to opt out of vaccines based on spiritual or philosophical reasons. Dr. Ginsberg, though, also has the choice to create the type of practice he feels is medically safe. "This pediatrician is not putting up with it," he wrote, in conclusion. "Never have, never will."
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