Kootenai Health works to provide the best possible care to all patients. With every patient and every interaction we strive to be respectful and compassionate in our care.
Part of Kootenai Health’s standard of care for patients is providing the recommended vaccinations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Association of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. These recommendations are recognized as a best practice for preventing disease within individuals and communities at large.
Why is vaccination important?
Vaccinations protect children and adults from deadly diseases such as polio, measles, tetanus, meningitis and diphtheria and also help keep other children and adults safe by decreasing the spread of disease through “herd immunity.”
What is a vaccine?
A vaccine is a dead virus or bacteria, a weakened version of a virus or bacteria, or part of the germ that causes a disease. When a person is exposed to a vaccine his or her immune system (the system that fights off sickness) is able to build up defenses that protect him or her from getting the illness and spreading it.
Are vaccines safe?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created a list of common concerns and safety rates. Please view here.
Does Kootenai Health require children born at Kootenai Health to be vaccinated?
No. When a child is born at Kootenai Health our care team provides vaccination education materials about risks and benefits of vaccination. Our care team will answer questions parents may have about vaccinations to help parents make their decision. As health care providers, we encourage patients to follow the recommendations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What happens if a patient or parents of a minor patient decline vaccination?
If a patient or parents of a minor patient decline vaccination for any reason, the patient or patient’s legal guardian signs a declination form that is saved in the patient’s medical record. This helps us make sure we have an accurate record of the patient’s medical care. This information is only available to people who need to know so they can provide good medical care.
Does vaccination status change my ability to access services?
No. Kootenai Health serves all patients, regardless of vaccination status.
Why is vaccination status necessary information for health care providers?
Vaccination status is asked as part of routine patient evaluations to help with the assessment and diagnosis process. Just as providers want to know if you have any allergies, knowing if you have been vaccinated for certain diseases provides him or her one more piece of information that can help with diagnosis or treatment.
Kootenai Health recognizes that there has historically been a controversy surrounding vaccines, however, Kootenai Health firmly believes in the effectiveness and safety of currently recommended vaccines and the vaccine schedule recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
We recognize that the decision for vaccinations is a personal choice, as health care providers, however, we will continue to encourage vaccination as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the most important interventions available for the health of our patients and community.