South Carolina pediatrician turning away unvaccinated patients amid national measles outbreak
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A pediatric office in South Carolina has said it will no longer see patients that refuse to vaccinate.

Dr. Marc Bahan, who works with CPG Pediatrics in Myrtle Beach, S.C., said in a recent interview that his office will be turning away unvaccinated patients under a newly-established policy designed to protect patients.

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"Having unvaccinated children coming to a pediatric office where lots of children are at a very high-risk for contracting vaccine-related diseases just seems inappropriate," Bahan told a local NBC station on Tuesday.

News of the new policy made the rounds on social media after local mother Tamara Pickett took to her personal account to sound off about the move when she was told her 2-year-old daughter would no longer be able to receive treatment at the office unless she is vaccinated.

"That was one of the reasons we came to the practice because we were informed they were accepting patients that had not been vaccinated or did not plan on vaccinating," Pickett, who has been taking her daughter to CPG Pediatrics since she was 6-months-old, told the station.

Bahan said the new policy is necessary given the number of patients who are cared for at the office who suffer from weakened immune systems. 

"We have patients on chemotherapy with cancer, we have patients coming in here with severe congenital heart diseases,” he continued. “All of these patients can potentially die if they contract one of these diseases.”

The office’s new policy comes as lawmakers and health officials across the country are scrambling to contain measles outbreaks. 

In the month of January alone, measles were confirmed in ten states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, according to the CDC

Some experts have also expressed concerns of a possible measles outbreak in South Carolina, which has seen a significant increase in the number of students who were exempt from vaccinations for religious reasons since 2014, according to The Post and Courier.