ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Fears over the measles in Pinellas County has led one Pediatric group to change its policy when it comes to vaccinations.
St. Petersburg Pediatrics will no longer accept patients who are not up to date on their vaccines. The group put up a notice at all of its facilities to tell patients its former policy put families and kids at risk, and they are looking to minimize that.
Tiffany Mills says her son Elliot can’t be vaccinated because of a rare condition. He’s 6 months old and is in and out of the hospital if he comes down with an illness.
"Something as simple as a cold could send him into a metabolic crisis,” said Mills.
She now stays at home with her son. Her husband has to work two jobs to support their family of five.
"I can't with good conscience send him to school or daycare or anything like that and risk him getting one of these things,” she said.
She is definitely worried about the measles virus. She says she doesn’t even take him out to public places very often while doctors figure out how serious his condition is.
“We really don't bring him anywhere and if we do very careful about it if we bring him to a store will constantly be wiping down everything,” she said.
Mills says the facility told her they will still take kids who are medically exempt. She believes the new policy will put fewer kids at risk.
"I'm more scared of burying my child due to something I could've prevented and I couldn't live with that,” she said, in hopes other people will vaccinate their kids.
Patients who are not vaccinated have a 30-day grace period to find another pediatrician that will see them. They are also offering consultation to parents who want to learn more about vaccines.