A retired pediatrician's advice to former patients

Updated 1/17/2022 8:31 PM

I retired from pediatric practice in October 2020 after a wonderful 40 years-plus career.

I am writing to my former patients, going back to opening that practice in 1981. I am writing in the midst of the highly perplexing, often terrifying COVID-19 Pandemic.


One of the fundamental services our practice provided your family was following the CDC and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) vaccination program. Local school districts mandated those immunizations for attendance. More important, those shots provided protection from ancient, catastrophic illnesses, protection that our ancestors would have begged for.

Vaccines have been very much in the news during this pandemic. Medical science drew from decades-old technology to create effective and safe immunizations with remarkable speed. I received my own as quickly as I possibly could. I rejoiced when my family, including finally my five grandchildren, were able to receive theirs.

The vaccine, of course, is not perfect. Quite frankly, none of the shots we gave you over those years could possibly be. COVID-19 vaccines certainly can't provide complete protection, yet over the past year, they have prevented a million sorrowful deaths.

I was honored to be entrusted with your care -- first by your parents and eventually by you. Indeed, I still very much care about you and your parents. If you have received the vaccine, I commend you. If you have not, I strongly urge you to get one as soon as possible. If you are a parent, I encourage getting your own children immunized (including those under 5 provided that vaccine is endorsed by the CDC and AAP.)

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You just may be saving your own life and that of others very precious to you.

Bruce Bedingfield

Hoffman Estates

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