Managing Editor's Note: Pediatricians admit that vaccines bring patients through the door. But are they profitable? Would you bring your baby to the doctor every couple of months if it weren't for "well visits?" Bottom line for us? Find a family practitioner who is less dependent on vaccinations for his livelihood and still knows how to treat illness. You won't get the vaccine hard sell that way, giving you the chance to follow the CDC statement that the AAP schedule is a only a guideline that parents and physicians can tailor to their child's health.
Most pediatricians are likely to keep giving vaccinations to kids, partly because of altruism and partly because giving shots drives business. "For us to give up vaccines would hurt our core business because that's why kids come in," Lessin said.
But family practice doctors — who are not as dependent on vaccinations for patients — may decide the shots are too much of a financial headache, he added.
Indeed, the new studies reflected that schism: Overall 11 percent of physicians have seriously considered stopping vaccinations for privately insured patients. But 21 percent of family doctors felt that way, compared with just 5 percent of pediatricians.
The financial problem has been getting worse in recent years, as more vaccines have come on the market, experts say. Some have been unusually expensive, including Gardasil, a vaccine for girls against cervical cancer which is given in three doses over six months and is priced at about $375 for the series.
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