August 15, 2010,
E.B. asks from Denver, CO on April 09, 2008
Experiences with Delayed Vaccination Schedule?
I have a three-month old daughter who has been through her newborn and two-month immunization shots. I continue to struggle with the shots and have lots of concerns with them.
We see a great pediatrician and since the first day I met with him, I have asked many questions about the shots. He has been great and repeatedly tells me that he wants me to be comfortable with my baby's care. However, his position medically is that the CDC immunization schedule is the right thing to do from a medical standpoint and that is his recommendation. At our last visit, I asked him more questions, especially regarding the multi-vaccination shot they were giving her and he was very reassuring saying that all of his children have been given these same shots, etc..
I was feeling ok (not great) about keeping her on the recommended schedule until I read a mamasource posting on Sunday citing a potential link between polyvalant (or multivalant) vaccines and SIDS. I admit that I Googled these types of vaccines and all this stuff came up about the DTAP shot and a possible link to SIDS. I started to read some of these stories and I had to make myself stop! I have to say, as a first-time mom, SIDS ranks up there as one of my worst fears. I'm not normally this paranoid but I think because I'm a first-time mom who already felt unsure about immunization shots paired with a fear of SIDS has got me concerned about the issue all over again. The amount of information you can get from the internet could make anyone crazy!
I was wondering if anyone out there has experience with any sort of delayed vaccination schedule. My gut instinct is telling me to switch to a delayed schedule (non CDC), at least until she is 6 months old. I'm a stay-at-home mom, she's not going to daycare and she's healthy. I found a web site http://www.generationrescue.org/vaccines.html that seems to be a good resource as a starting point for information regarding delaying the shots. I feel like there is so much balanced information out there on both sides of the issue (to vaccinate or not to vaccinate ... ) that it has been hard for me to make a decision I feel good about. Weighing the risks and benefits is tough! I don't want to do anything that would put my daughter in harm's way but there seem to be risks on both sides. A delayed vaccination schedule sounds like a happy medium.
With my baby's 4-month appointment right around the corner, I want to gather as much information as I can before that appointment so I can have a conversation with our pediatrician about it.
Thank you for reading this long request and for any stories or advice you can share!!
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much to everyone who responded with advice, suggestions and shared experiences! I know this is kind of a hot topic and I was so encouraged by the supportive words, even by moms who don't agree with the idea. We went in for our 4-month pediatrician visit yesterday and I shared with the doctor about the plan to move to a delayed vaccination schedule. The doc was very supportive and reiterated how important vaccines are, etc.. The doc also said because my daughter is 100% breast fed, she is getting all of my good antibodies. I also shared with the doc that I have been stockpiling breast milk in a chest freezer since the day my milk came in and he shared with me that the earlier milk has more of the good antibodies in it than the milk she's getting today. Since I will use that stored milk to mix with rice, etc. in the coming months, I know that my daughter will be getting even more of my good antibodies. That was great to hear! I still have more to read up on before her 6-month visit because I will most likely opt out of certain vaccinations but I've got some time! It feels so good to ask for advice and to have so many people respond! The best part about the responses I received was the overwhelming support in trusting our own mother's intuition. Being a new mom, it's something that I need to listen to more closely. Thanks again!
D.K. answers from Denver on April 09, 2008
I can say about vaccinations that your Dr is leading you in the right direction. Infants are very vulnerable. Whooping cough and measles have reared their heads in mainstream schools now due to non vaccination. A baby getting exposed to either is deadly. You cannot put her in a box to prevent illness but vaccinations were invented for a reason to protect them as much as possible. Mercury is not in almost any vaccines anymore, so the risk of autism is really non existant. There are children that have severe reactions to vaccines and that is horrible. I know each family has to do what they deem as best for their children. I think though there are so many people on bandwagons for both sides you will not be able to do anything but take both sides and weigh the odds. I have always advocated vaccinations, both of my kids handled them fine, my daughter even being so tiny she did fine. There was an outbreak of chicken pox at her school and thankfully just had the booster for it. I had shingles myself and their are horrific for adults. I also went and had a DTP shot this year as a booster for myself, as I saw what whooping cough can do to a grown up when my friend got it and was laid up for weeks and in pain from coughing.
Delays are always an option, if she is going to daycare, going to be around other children or preschool prior to the age of two you need to factor that in however. If she doesn't get exposure to a lot of other children and you feel it is the right thing to do then of course follow your gut instinct as a parent. It is kind of like the milk controversy, there are always two sides and you can only choose for yourself in the end on these things. There are no proven facts on a lot of this stuff nowdays, speculation, opinions and minimal research is all we as moms go off of. I would say even back in the 60's when I got all my shots I cannot recall one friend that had a severe reaction or trouble due to the shots and they had mercury in them at that point.
DO what you want to do.
1 mom found this helpful
J.J. answers from Colorado Springs on April 10, 2008
First of all, Bravo! for being such a strong advocate for your child's health! The immunization quandary is a tough one because there seems to be 2 very different schools of thought and not a lot of middle ground. With both of my daughters, now 6 1/2 and 2 1/2 we have delayed or indefinitely postponed vaccinations. For instance, there is very little Polio left on the planet, so until they decide to travel to India or the Middle East, we're holding off on Polio. We also have elected to wait on the MMR. Not only are there still too many unanswered questions about a link between autism and the MMR vaccine, but until there was a vaccine, Measles Mumps and Rubella were routine childhood illnesses. Chicken pox is a great example of how an illness becomes vilified once there is a vaccine. In spite of what some pediatricians may tell us, have any of us ever heard of a fatal case of chicken pox? Also, the only way to have lifelong immunity to the virus is to have the virus. So, I tell our pediatrician at every visit, that I will continue to try to expose my kids to the pox until they are about 10. If we can't get it by then, we'll vax. He rolls his eyes, every time. But we agree to disagree.
Do all the research you can. Follow your gut and you will make the right decision. For those out there that say not vaxing puts others in danger, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm going to put the health and well-being of my kids first, every time. I expect you all to do the same!
Good luck wresting with this issue, E.. For me it has been the most agonizing part of motherhood. There don't seem to be any easy answers!
1 mom found this helpful
T.S. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
I agree with Jennifer J. There's been alot of questions about how healthy it is to give infants so many shots. If you postpone the shots for a few months so you can research your options and make an educated decision, it won't hurt your little girl but it will give you peace of mind that you're doing the right thing. Doctors don't like to be challenged but the human race survived along time before they stuck their noses into parenting. Do what feels right for you and your little girl, not what everyone else thinks is best.
1 mom found this helpful
M.M. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
Hi, E.! You are right to be concerned. Vaccines, while valuable in certain cases, also can be dangerous. In the last 20 years or so, we've gone from 8 recommend childhood vacciness to about 40. During this same peiod of time, autism rates have climbed dramtically. Recently, the government finally conceded to a family that their autistic child's autism was indeed caused by vaccinations. SIDS rates in countries that mandata vacciness for children under the age of 2 are very high; whereas in countries that postpone vaccines until past 2 have almost no incidence of SIDS.
For an indication of how dangerous vaccines are, you only have to look at the law passed in 1986. Called the childhood vaccination injury protection act, one would think it was designed to protect children from injury from vaccines. Quite the opposite. THe law protects vaccines manufacturers from liability due to their vaccines injuring children. Think of it from the vaccine manufacturers stand point - they now can create a product, get the government to mandate people buy it so they have a guaranteed HUGE market, and have NO liability whatsoever if their product harms someone. No wonder the rate at which vaccines are being developed and added to the immunization schedule is so high.
All that is a long way of saying, while I vaccinated my 4 year old because I didn't know any better, I am not vaccinating my one year old son. After he is two, I will selectively vaccinate for those things that are truly concerning to me.
In Colorado, don't let anyone tell you that you have to vaccinate. You don't. Not even if you are going to send your kids to day care or public school. Turn over the vaccination record and sign it where it says you object to vaccination. That's all you have to do. Schools cannot require you to vaccinate.
If your doctor doesn't support your choice, find one that will. There are many good ones that do not try to force vaccines on their patients. If you are any where near Westminster, Colorado, contact Dr. Trish Kloor's office at ###-###-####. She is a pediatric chiropractor, and she does an excellent 2 hour seminar on vaccines, their history, the risks, etc. etc. It is great!
1 mom found this helpful
S.L. answers from Fort Collins on April 10, 2008
I haven't been able to read through all your responses, but I will recommend Dr. Sears' "The Vaccine Book." You can get it for about $10 on Amazon.com. It details each vaccine and tells you what is in it and talks about the issue of overdosing on aluminum, which has replaced mercury as a preservative in most vaccines. Most importantly, he gives you honest information about the diseases that each vaccine covers - how severe it really is, who is most susceptible to it, and AT WHAT AGES each is most dangerous to your baby. For example, if a child is in the most danger from a disease between birth and six months, and he doesn't receive full protection from a vaccine until his booster shot at 1 year, that doesn't make much sense?! He also includes a modified vaccination schedule. I understand that most of the recommended vaccines are on this schedule, he just spreads them out and delays them.
I can't tell you what would be best for your daughter. You are right that it is difficult to get unbiased information from either side. Like everything else in life, and especially medical care, it is an issue of weighing risks and benefits and making the best decisions you can for your daughter. I would say, don't feel rushed to make a decision by the time her checkup gets here. If you are waiting on a book, or still weighing your options, that is okay. Most doctor's offices will allow you to schedule an "outpatient" appt for vaccinations, and you do not have to pay your office visit fee. You just bring baby in and get shots and go. For those who say you should vaccinate for the public good... I will just say that a parent's job is to take care of his or her child, not everyone elses! The idea that a few children are expendable for the greater good is horrific. Shame on you.
You are right that the fact that you stay at home and do not put your daughter in daycare reduces the risk of her contracting communal diseases. If she is breastfeeding, she is even more protected, as she receives every antibody you have in your own immune system - pretty cool and a totally safe alternative to vaccines!! Remember that anytime she does get a vaccine, she should be totally healthy. Not even the sniffles or a cough, though most doctors will still vaccinate a baby in that case. If her immune system is already under fire, it would be wise not to stress it further. Also, keep her home for a couple days after her vaccination, as some vaccines can shed from her body and expose other children to whatever disease your daughter was just vaccinated for.
Personally, we delayed vaccinating and were very selective of the vaccinations we gave both of our daughters. Our doctor recommended the HIB and Pneumococcal (Prevnair) vaccines, and also DTaP. With our first, we did HIB & Pneum together, two shots every other month, and then we did her DTaP shots every other month. When she is much older - at LEAST school age - we will give her the MMR. For our second daughter, we have declined the HIB, as we learned from her doctor that HIB has been largely eradicated. We are contemplating the chickenpox vaccine if they have not had it by the time they are teenagers.
There are still A LOT of questions about vaccines, and you are wise to ask them. Despite scare tactics to the contrary, many diseases that we vaccinate for are not life-threatening. (Chickenpox? Come on! The only kids who die from chickenpox are severely immune compromised already.) The are finding out that for some vaccines, like HepB, by giving them to babies they wear off by the time the child needs it most - when he becomes a sexually active adult. I always remind myself of the fact that vaccine companies are making billions of dollars every year. Doctors are making billions of dollars by giving your child vaccines. I am not saying that doctors are corrupt and in it for the money, but they believe what they are taught, and vaccine companies are expending huge amounts of money "educating" doctors. I think there is an amount of skepticism that is healthy. Do your research, don't allow yourself to be bullied, and take the time you need to make the right decisions for your children.
Best of Luck,
By the way - Many proponents of vaccines are pointing to outbreaks of diseases that we are vaccinated for as reason to require vaccines. Some even blame non-vaxing parents for them. What they fail to mention (because it is rarely reported by the doctors or the media) is that it is often children who have been vaccinated who are getting the diseases. During a recent outbreak of chickenpox back east, 86% of the affected children were fully vaccinated!!
1 mom found this helpful
K.M. answers from Boise on April 10, 2008
There are a lot of differing points of view about this topic so the best thing you can do is get educated and follow your instincts.
I followed the CDC's schedule for my first child with no problems, but I was also a young mother and this was when the internet was barely getting started. With my 21 month old son, I am following a delayed schedule based on a lot of different resources. I have not read The Vaccine Book, but I sure will now because I have #3 on the way. I read articles on www.mercola.com (which are extremely against vaccinations) and on www.cdc.gov (which are extremely for vaccinations). The resource I found that made the most sense to me was Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northup. It provided some wonderful insight about the vaccination schedule and at the very least, recommended delaying vaccinations until the child's body is mature enough to handle it.
Given all of the back and forth information going on right now and the influence of the pharmaceutical companies, you really should questions if the schedule is right. I personally don't have any doubt as to the benefit vaccinations have provided our society but I think that the medical community has lost sight of the personal cost some parents and children have had to deal with. So make sure you follow your motherly instincts and do what seems right to you.
J.M. answers from Denver on April 11, 2008
You're right to be concerned about vaccinations--especially regarding SIDS. (I believe it is the DTaP shot that does this--as your research has also pointed out.) My pediatrician says that is a parents' choice and responsibility to know the facts of vaccinations and to make the decision for their own children. She herself vaccinated her first two children and NOT her second two. Mothering Magazine has some good articles on vaccinations you can read. By-the-way, from my own research SIDS almost always occurs after the DTaP shot. It is not so "Sudden" as we think. I don't believe that the CDC is as reliable as we think it is--if you research laws about vaccinations and health in general, you'll find that they often benefit pharmaceutical companies (big tax dollars) and NOT the consumer. In other countries where vaccinations are delayed, their children do better. Japan is an example. I have withheld vaccinations from my children--for me the risks far outweigh the benefits. And they both have great health all around. So do what you think is right, for your own convictions and not for others. Fortunately, Colorado is one of the best states and all you have to do is sign a waiver.
J.A. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
I delayed both my boys vaccination schedules. Felt like a good happy medium to me.
A.P. answers from Pocatello on April 10, 2008
You are right to question, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise! I know you already have some good information, but get the book by dr. sears. Its is not anti-vaccine, but he just gives good information on each vaccination--pros, cons, how they are made and whats in the final product. It was very informative to me. We are doing his alternative schedule with my 7 month old.
J.P. answers from Casper on April 10, 2008
We were on schedule with our vaxs for our baby who is 13.5 months old until the 1-year vaxs, which we choose not to do.
Delaying is FINE - there is NOTHING wrong with that.
There are SO MANY LINKS on the internet for information. I encourage you to surf and read read read. and then...
GO WITH YOUR GUT.
Mama Guts are always right.
Best of luck!
L.B. answers from Washington DC on April 10, 2008
Delaying vaccinations is not a terrible thing especially if you have major concerns. However I would not let SIDS concerns rule the vaccination concerns- I struggled with the sids issue with my children and when it is such a concern probably check on your little one when she is sleeping when there is no fusing going on. I know I lost a lot of sleep just because I was checking on my kids so much through the night and even through nap times... I was paranoid... I am pregnant with my third and will continue to check on my children because I need to know they are sleeping well and okay (breathing) they are 2 and 4.
Do the best you can, Immunizations con wait if that is what you want to do, but don't stress over something you have no control over, I know it is hard, but if you are checking on your baby and caring for her appropriatly then you should know you are doing the best you can.
S.F. answers from Dallas on August 04, 2010
I am in a similar place that you were in several years ago. What did you decide? My little girl is almost 6m old and I am thinking hard about delaying the rest of her shots.
A.P. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
Don't base your decisions on medical advice found on the internet. The sources are questionable. The medical world is not going to give your baby something that would harm her. The vaccinations are in place to protect her from potentially harmful diseases. These days people haven't been getting their children vaccinated because of fear --- as a result many old school diseases that were erradicated have returned. The latest research shows that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism. They have found other possible causes that relate more to diet and environment. Same with SIDS. Keep asking your pediatrician questions. His job is to keep you informed.
M.W. answers from Boise on April 09, 2008
Your gut instinct to wait to vaccinate is correct. I would wait to start shots until 2 years of age at least. I highly recommend the book "The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults" by Randall Neustaedter. (Look on Amazon and you can "search inside" this book.) I have let many moms borrow my copy. It is a thorough and balanced resource. Blessings to you!
A.S. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
I am a new mom of a 6 month old boy who is very healthy and happy. I too have issues with the vaccination schedule. It seems that these little guys are given too much for their little immune systems. I am lucky because my mother is my daycare, so my son is not exposed to as many illnesses as other children. I opted to spread his immunizations out and also to refuse a few. I have a wonderful pediatrician that supports me in this. My son did not get the rotovirus vaccine, the Hepatitis B vaccine or the Polio vaccine. In addition, I opted to take the time to go back for additional appointments to spread his immunizations out. So he gets one shot, then goes back in three weeks and gets another shot, then goes back in three weeks and gets another shot. The 2nd and 3rd visits are very quick nurse only visits. No height, weight, etc, just a shot and out the door. Unfortunately, you still have to pay your co-pay; however, I feel more comfortable with this schedule. Maybe you and your pediatrician will as well. Your baby will still get her shots, but in a way that allows her immune system to recharge. I also give him a powdered pro-biotic in his bottles. If you research pro-biotics (acidophilus), you will find that it has many benefits, including keeping you regular, but also for a healthy immune system.
I have also heard many stories of people that have waited to give the immunizations until one year. One in particular is a family friend, and his son is now graduating with his doctorate from Harvard. :) Hope that info helps a little!
C.K. answers from Casper on April 10, 2008
With my first child I delayed his vaccinations until he was 1 year old and only did the ones that I thought were most important. I read the CDC notices on all of the vaccinations, looked at how bad the disease is, how likely my kids are to get the disease, how bad the side-effects are, and how likely they are, and made an educated decision on which vaccines were most important. I tend to think that giving too many vaccines at one time is not good, so I wanted to limit vaccines to the most important. The nice thing about delaying shots was that several of the vaccinations required fewer shots than if you started with a newborn (DTaP was 4 instead of 5, etc.). He was always healthy, so I didn't worry much. His first fever of his life was caused by his 2nd vaccination shots. I was very happy I delayed vaccinations.
My second son has Down Syndrome and a heart deffect, so we started his vaccinations at 6 months and he got more of the vaccinations than my first because he is at high risk for respiratory complications. He turns 1 year this week and has not had any complications from vaccinations and has not caught anything he was vaccinated for. I'm also satisfied with my choices for him.
L.S. answers from Fort Collins on April 10, 2008
I totally understand! I was in the same boat. Thankfully pediatrician, Dr. Sears's book 'The Vaccine Book' came out just in time (October) for me to read before my son was ready to get his shots. I am following his alternative schedule. I only get 2 shots at a time, get to choose the manufacturer and I go to the county health dept because our family doc and the peds don't carry all the brands but the health dept does, so after reading his book which lists all the different manufacturers and the ingredients, controversial ingredients etc... I can then make a rational decision based on the information. The book is only $14 and it's well worth it. I keep pages flagged for the different sections and keep referring back to it when it's time to get those scary shots. Let me know if you want further information and I'll scan the alternate schedule in the book.
L.M. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
I have three children and concerned (recently) with the vac. schedule too. My first two have gone by the CDC schedule and been fine. I'm hesitant more with my third because more information keeps coming out. I've been told Dr. Sears has a good book for vaccinations with a modified schedule that I'm planning on looking into myself. Good luck.
B.H. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
I don't know if we are on a delayed schedule or not, but our peditrician has suggested that since we are concerned, that we delay a few shots...like the polio shot. There 0% chance of getting polio in littleton, CO. Now, if we were traveling abroad or doing mission work, he said he would suggest the regular schedule. As of now, we have a 5 month little boy who has not had a polio, hepititus or one more that I can not think of. We love our pediatrician, and trust him. He said that the real important ones are pertussis, diptheira and tetnus. Hope this helps....internet information can be scary, and biased. It is scary when you talk about SIDS and austim being related to shots meant to help (and have almost become manditory) for our kids!!
D.P. answers from Pueblo on April 10, 2008
I am a mom whose baby has a horrible disorder called infatile spasms. It is a severe form of seizure disorder. All of that to say it could have been linked to his immunizations. I encourage you to read up as much as possible. If you read n the CDC website there are lots of horrible side-effects or containdications. Well, I an one mom who fell into that catagory and I hope you never have to join me. I commend you for questioning and deciding for yourself.
H.H. answers from Salt Lake City on April 10, 2008
I appreciate what you are feeling about vaccinations. My husband and I did some research before our first child and found that a few of the medical measures were unnecessary for our situation. We are monogomous, and did not have to worry about hepatitis B, gohnorrea or chlamidia being transferred to the baby- so the shots and eye treatments regarding these issues we opted out of. We feel that it is good to vaccinate, but for our family we like to be cautious. We vaccinate after three years old- when autism is less likely to surface linked to the two year old shots- and so that the children can have a chance to develop their systems. We also do the vaccines one at a time and I keep a personal record of the shots, lot numbers and area the shot was given with a date a nurse signature/ initial, etc. That way if there are any side effects, we have a record of the vaccine given. I strictly breastfeed my babies, and that alone can help a great deal with boosting their immune systems. My side of the family does have some medical issues, though, which is another reason we wait. I have a sister with Lupus (she found out at age 21), a cousin who is autistic, and an aunt with other medical problems. We are all very healthy- but I could not justify taking a chance by getting an early vaccination for diseases that they were less likely to get because of our lifestyle. I feel very comfortable with our decision, though it is uncommon. I have had a lot of information given to our family by doctors and nurses, and I have interviewed individuals in the medical field who do not vaccinate their own children on the current schedule for similar concerns. In Utah and some other states you can simply sign a waiver form for vaccinations at a state health office when it comes time for the children to attend school. In the eastern states, like in North Carolina, they will only accept a religious exemption and letter. You may need to research the information if you ever move.
I wish you luck in finding the best answers for your families situation. I know that you must be informed, and able to defend your decisions, correspondingly, whatever they may be. Some resources we've used to aid in making our decisions are: The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice by Randall Neustaedter, O.M.D., What Every Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunizations by Jamie Murphy and Vaccines are they Really Safe and Effective? by Neil Miller, and information provided by the pediatrician's offices about vaccines as well as looking up the websites that correspond to the various diseases ie. parent support groups, medical articles, etc. I often locate these by googling them.
Best wishes and good luck.
T.L. answers from Chicago on August 15, 2010
Could you please tall me what vaccine schedual you are using? I currently have a 5 month old and have not had him vaccinated yet. What are your thoughts?
S.G. answers from Salt Lake City on April 11, 2008
I work at a health food store in holistic health.....I would not allow myself to be pushed into continued vaccinations. There have been side-effects from autism, to a compromised
immune system, opening the body to many diseases. There is a lot of money that is being made by the "creators" of these
shots. When a shot is given, it by-passes the immune system
and often creates the disease it supposedly immunizes against.
We have had "out-breaks" of certain diseases....I believe due
to the shots. There are some good books out there that can educate you and inform you ....as for me, if I had it to do over again, I would absolutely get a "waiver" and NOT immunize. We are not being told the truth about immunization problems....reactions and the REAL reason we are being "pushed" to conform.
The FDA has been sued for millions of dollars from parents who have suffered major reactions from the immunzations.
Go to drmercola.com...ask him about them, also eagleforum.com.
A.E. answers from Fort Collins on April 10, 2008
HOT Topic :)! I was reading through most of the responses and I have to say that I may not be adding much but another voice to the discussion. I, too, agree that you should get Dr. Sears' The Vaccination Book. It is amazing in that it is a step-by-step guide to all vaccinations. It seems to be as non-biased as possible and I appreciated that when I read it.
I would also suggest checking out www.mothering.com for more information. I subscribe to this magazine and I LOVE it! It is always filled with lots of interesting articles and they have lots of up-to-date information on vaccines since they are a magazine and publish more often than books :).
I also decided to hold off on vaccinations for my son. He will be 9 months next week and so far I have not vaccinated him at all. I may choose a few that I deem important, but only after he is at least one year old. As a few mothers said, you need to do what YOU think is right, what you FEEL is right for you and your baby. There are a lot of risks to vaccines so I would suggest reading as much information as possible and then making a decision. I won't argue with those who have posted about the insignificance of SIDS, autism, and side effects associated with vaccines because this doesn't seem like the forum for arguing. However, please take into consideration the information out there regarding autism and SIDS...they are both serious and, can be, deadly. The chances of your baby getting polio are almost non-existent, especially compared to the high chances of your baby being diagnosed with autism after multiple vaccines within a short time period.
As you said, a delayed schedule may be the happy medium for you. I hope that this post and all of the posts help you to make a good decision for you and your baby. Follow your gut and, in the end, whatever decision you make will be the right one :)! Best of luck as you research, read, and decide :)!!
Z.L. answers from Denver on April 11, 2008
I have a 4.5 year old daughter and twins that are almost 4 months old. I want to encourage you to listen to your gut. Secondly, I'll share with you what we did with our children. I delayed all shots for my oldest until after age 2. She was only with family and didn't start preschool until 2.5 years. She's only has her DTaP because that's the only one as of now that I felt she needed. She is very healthy and strong. One of the reasons I waited so long is I wanted to be able to see any difference in her speech/interaction/etc. because I feel there is a strong link between autism and vaccines and perhaps ADD/ADHD and vaccines. She had 3 DTaP's rather than 5, just because she was older. Another advantage in my opinion. We have not had any vaccines for the twins but I am researching two that our Ped has recommended, which I am considering because my oldest in in school (bringing home all those germs) and they were born one month early. It's a very difficult decision, one that I have struggled with because I don't feel 100% comfortable either way (getting vaccines or not). But I do think the number of shots they expect us to give our babies is ridiculous and scary.
M.H. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
Hi. I too was very hesitant about vaccinating my child and did a ton of reading. My husband and I decided not to vaccinate--at least not yet. We will probably do tetanus at some point. Our daughter is 22 months next week, and she has had no vaccinations. I cam across the article below a couple weeks ago, and it is a great resource. www.mercola.com is a good place to go to look at article and information on this topic.
For our family, we felt that after looking at the risks and the benefits of vaccination, that for us, the risks outweighed the benefits. If there is a big outbreak of something, that would change. If we lived in Africa or were traveling somewhere overseas that risk be nefit ratio would probably change.
There are so many different opinions on this subject, and you just want to do the very best thing for this precious bundle that you have been entrusted with--and it is so hard sometimes to know what that is. A LOT oeople delay vaccinations--it seems much different to give a shot to a 6 pound newborn than it is to give it to a 12 or 15 lb 6 month old, or a 20 pound 1 year old. (By the way, the vaccines were tested on 18 month olds--and that same dose that they tested on 18 month olds is given to your 2 or 4 month old! How crazy is that?)
I think we have God-given instincts about our kids--and if you are uncomfortable, I would not go forward until you were. Recently a situation in my live drove that home. Our 22 month old has been waking up excessively--15-20 times a night. I got all kinds of advice suggesting that we let her cry it out. After a doctor's visit yesterday, I learned she is in the middle of a HUGE growth spurt, as well as getting in all 4 eye teeth right now. Our daughter told us the other night that her legs were hurting. Now, I just do not feel right about letting her cry by herself--and I feel justified in NOT doing that--because she is in a place where she is physically uncomfortable at night. It seems to me that would be cruel to leave her in pain and crying by herself. I only relate this story to tell you that your instincts as a mother are usually right. Listen to those instincts, along with reading and research, and make your decision. I have no regrets on not vaccinating or delaying the vaccine.
Best wishes as you navigate your way through this difficult decision!
S.B. answers from Salt Lake City on April 10, 2008
I think this is a discussion that our mothers didn't have because they had these childhood diseases or saw their direct effects. I really hated my daughter's last appointment. 5 shots! When she was reaching for me to stop it, I really wanted to stop it 'cuz she was hurting. But isn't it better for her to have a few shots rather than getting polio or some of the other diseases that we're vaccinating against? They can be deadly and life altering. Our generation really doesn't get that because we have never seen it. But the childhood diseases are SO much worse! I'd rather have a few moments of pain than several weeks or months of being scared that my baby was going to die and knowing that she's in worse pain. My husband is in the medical profession and we have yet to meet a pediatrician who didn't honestly want to help children. They are not trying to hurt. The vaccination schedule is something that a whole group of doctors have researched and decided this is the best way for prevention. They have WAY more education than I could possibly have doing a little research on the Internet. There's a reason they attend school for YEARS and do continuing education! There is no REAL study that TRULY indicates the risks of the vaccination outweighs the benefit. Ultimately it is your decision and you have to go with your gut, but I would stop reading these articles written by people who don't know how to accurately read the results of studies and are only trying to dig up stories using scare tactics.
S.O. answers from Omaha on April 10, 2008
I don't have any experience in delaying them but I am an advocate for vaccinations. I had a hard time deciding if I was going to let my children have shots at all. I had a cousin that spiked a very high fever and had a stroke at 3 months old. Jerry passed when I was 15 and he was 18. He spent the majority of his life in a wheelchair on a feeding tube. I did a lot of research long lists of pro's and con's. I decided for the health of my children they needed their shots and on time. It was even harder decision this time because our son was a preemie and we had to be so careful with him. The chances of SIDS goes up with a preemie baby. We made the decision to go ahead with his shots even though I am a stay at home mom and he is healthy. He does go out and doesn't live in a bubble. People come over to visit and have germs. You never know what is floating through the air. It is so much better that they are protected. Put your faith in your doctor. Until the fear of SIDS was over I slept with a baby monitor and when my angel had his shots he roomed in with us.
G.L. answers from Salt Lake City on April 10, 2008
I am not an expert, but I do know of a few reputable resources for views that are a bit different from the CDC line. Mothering magazine has a reprint of their vaccination articles available in booklet form for $8, and Dr. Robert W. Sears, M.D., F.A.A.P. has a new book called The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child, $13.99. Both are available through www.mothering.com/shop.
K.H. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
You've gotten such great responses to your question, E.. I'll reiterate that you, as a mother, know better than anyone (including docs) what is best for your child. Your instincts should never be set aside or ignored.
For those who believe there is no viable link between autism and vaccs... Well, there are advocates on both sides who publish research and crunch the numbers as they see fit. However, even some mainstream docs are now admitting publicly that while they don't believe vaccs CAUSE autism they believe that for some children who were already genetically predisposed/susceptible to autism, the vaccs perhaps pushed their little bodies’ defenses over the edge TRIGGERING the disorder to take hold. I think it is wonderful to hear some traditional docs finally making this acknowledgement; however, it took more than two decades. And it was two decades of vehement denials of any such connection and absolute guarantees to parents that vaccs were completely safe. I’m just wondering how many years it will be before those same docs finally come around to admitting an even great link between vaccs and all kinds of other new ailments that have sprouted up since giving vaccs got out of control (bundling so many toxins to inject at once into a tiny baby’s body). I could go on and on…
Anyway, kudos to you for listening to your instincts and asking hard questions. My 3-year-old daughter has only received the vaccs for meningitis – she was nine months old for the first and had a booster of the same a few months later. I plan to revisit which shots to give or not give her this summer, before she starts public preschool. There will be few, if any. My son is 8 months old and my plan right now is to do the same as I did with my daughter.
You’re on the right track, E.. Good luck with everything!
M.C. answers from Fort Collins on April 10, 2008
Wow! You are a very wise woman! Most women today just do what they are told without any independant thought. However, there is one club not many women desire to be a member of. It is the Mother's of Dead Babies Club. Of course this is not an official "Club", I just make that up because I am a member of such a club and I don't like it! I wish there was no such club. But, in reality, babies do die. Is your fear valid? ABSOLUTELY!!! I commend you for not blindly following what the Dr. says!
1. Some people choose to not vaccinate their children at all, some of those children get sick, some die.
2. Some people choose to vaccinate for specific diseases they feel are dangerous, some of those children get sick, some die.
3. Some people choose to vaccinate for every single disease the CDC recommends, some of those children get sick, some get really sick, some get autistism and other auto-immune diseases, some die.
(Did you know that the ONLY polio children get in this country today is from the vaccine? Vaccine induced polio is always severe.)
This is YOUR baby, given to you from God's hand, because YOU are the perfect mother for this baby. Out of ALL the mothers in the world, past present and future, God chose YOU and only YOU to be his mother. Because God never has made a mistake! That gives you an enormous edge over everyone else, even the doctors. Do your research, talk with your husband and pray, then you will KNOW what to do. Another wise woman once told me, "If you don't know what to do, do nothing. It will become very clear given time, what to do."
Delayed vaccination is a viable option. Japan doesn't vaccinate their children until they are 2 years old. They have the lowest rate of SIDS.
Important websites in the vaccine debate:
www.vaccineinfo.net A group of parents out of Texas with vaccine injured children. PROVE is what they call themselves, Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education. An article I noticed on their website: "Immunization Risks too Serious to be Ignored"
www.nvic.org National Vaccine Information Center, by Barbara Loe Fisher also a mother (highly intelligent mother) of a vaccine injured boy.
www.tetrahedron.org Dr. Leonard Horowitz's website. Dr. Horowitz was hired by the CDC many years ago to get us to go back to our dentists after the dentist in Florida injected his patients with his AIDS tainted blood. He is enormously intelligent. If you have never heard of him before, you may think he is a wacko, he is NOT!
I have much information on this subject and I am quite opinionated. But, dear E., YOU have everything you need to make a sound decision for your baby!
God bless you,
PS. I believe we need to raise our immune systems and stay clear away from anything that will attack our immune systems. This country has an epidemic of auto-immune diseases. From over vaccinating? (Veterinarians have a name for over-vaccination in dogs. Leads to a severe immune system failure.) From anti-biotics? Follow the money. Maybe some people think it's okay to sacrifice some children so others may live in luxury, I am not one of those people! Every child that dies is a tragedy.
J.L. answers from Pocatello on April 10, 2008
Keep in mind that the vast majority of babies are vaccinated. That means that the vast majority of babies who die from SIDS were also vaccinated. I am a statistician and I deal with numbers, rates, and correlations all day long. We talk about relationships like this all of the time. Until there are several, large scale, scientific studies on the connection between SIDS and vaccines I wouldn't place any weight on what they are claiming. It's the same argument that carrots cause cancer because most people who get cancer have eaten carrots (they also all drink water too). It is easy to create perceived causal relationships where none exist.
That said, it is true that vaccinations, as with all other medical treatments, have potential side affects; and some of them are very nasty. However, the side affects of not getting vaccinated are nastier. Some people have mentioned the public health aspect and that is very important. However, there are also many repercussions to your child.
Pertussis (whooping cough)is something that your daughter will be vaccinated for. This vaccine is only affective until about age 5 when your daughter will be strong enough to handle whooping cough without much danger. It is known that pertussis is a common cause of coughs in adults. That means if your baby isn't vaccinated for it she will be commonly exposed to a cough that she is not strong enough to handle. Also, German Measles is not dangerous to your daughter now, but if she contracts it when she is pregnant her baby will have a 25% chance of having a severe birth defect like deafness. If she contracts it when she is a child and exposes a pregnant woman to it, that woman's has a 25% chance of having a severe birth defect. There is also the HiB vaccine for meningitis. Me and my brother in law nearly died of this disease as infants. It is still around.
Be careful about disrupting the schedule. I know that some of the vaccines are more effective when they are given at the recommended time. For example, the Hepatitis B vaccine is only fully effective when it is given at birth. The scheduling on the follow-up vaccines are also very important because if there is too much space in between vaccines they are also not as affective. I know this is true for Hepatitis B, but not necessarily for the others.
I would recommend doing some serious research on the different vaccines and find out how delaying the schedule may affect their effectiveness. Your daughter will be due for another Hepatitis B vaccine at 6 months and I would recommend giving it to her then. However, you may want to postpone a few of the others if the schedules aren't as necessary for effectiveness. It may not seem like it from the above argument, but I am not one to blindly follow the recommended medical treatment. I am a firm believer that the patient needs to be well informed and use their brain. I have a specialty in epidemiology so I know the information I gave is true. Just make sure you get your information from both sides. There are tons of websites that are anti-vaccine and they state many facts, but they also have an agenda. Make sure you check out plenty of pro-vaccine websites too. In particular, check out all of the information you can on specific vaccines to make sure you can make the most informed decision possible.
It is also good to compare rates of problems. What I mean is, how frequently do problems occur with a delayed schedule versus the regular schedule. Another option that you may want to consider over a delayed schedule is using the separate vaccines rather than the combined vaccines.
J.D. answers from Boise on April 11, 2008
I had twins in 2005 and they were 6 weeks early and we've been on a delayed schedule ever since. I think go with you gut on this one. I've heard a lot of rumors to about vaccines and I would rather be save than sorry. My rule is to only let them have two vaccines at a time. I've heard that more than that is why there is a risk. I've looked into it to and it's just hard to understand it all, but as a mother go with your gut she will catch up and I think if she's not in daycare (neither are mine) than she'll be fine! Good luck. J.
D.B. answers from Denver on May 25, 2008
I have decided to wait at least 2 years (that's what they do in Japan) and it makes sense to wait for their immune system to get strong. I will not do every shot recommended ... most of these childhood diseases are mild and provide lifetime immunity (the shots do not... have to get boosters your whole life to stay immune) ... they are going to start recommending HIV someday. I check out websites www.909shot.com and www.thinktwice.com ... my daughter is 4 and has not had shots, my son is 9 months old. I am a FTWM and my children have grown up in daycare. There are also gender concerns ... I forget if it's measles that a boy might benefit from the shot ??? There is a book I recommend called "The Sanctity of Human Blood" There is one thing for sure - I worry with the shots and I worry without the shots. I think it's best to first do no harm. Good Luck to you.
K.L. answers from Colorado Springs on April 10, 2008
I am so glad to hear new moms questioning this stuff! If I had it to do over, I would delay and think about eliminating some of the vaccines. Keep looking into it. I personally think some of them may help, but most of them are money makers by the pharmaceutical companies and are actually causing problems for our kids. I opted out of the chicken pox vaccine and the cervical cancer vaccine for my girls.
K. Loidolt, Author of Shopper's Guide to Healthy Living
available on Amazon.com
J.H. answers from Salt Lake City on April 10, 2008
I am another mother who is very concerned about vaccines. I have gone to appointments and felt overwhelmingly that I should not give them to my child. I like you am confused on the issue. I want to protect my kids from ANYTHING that might hurt them. I have three and my last child has not had any vaccines since 4 months. The last time she received any she got thrush horribly and would not eat. I contacted the pediatricians office who wouldn't even see her for a WEEK!! By then she could have starved! So I went to a kinesiologist who helped with the thrush. His opinion is that our kids are too young when they do get immunizations and their little bodies aren't very capable of fighting bad things. He said if that is all we have to protect our kids then we should delay them. His over all feeling was that immunizations do more harm than good. My two children who were vaccinated on schedule have been more sick than the one who has had very few. I don't believe vaccines are totally safe. I am torn as well. I also don't like all the pressure we receive to get our children vaccinated and how we are viewed as bad parents if we chose not to or to delay. Best of luck! I don't have the answers- but I feel your pain and concern.
S.B. answers from Boise on April 10, 2008
I don't know if this is what you're looking for or not, but I'll go ahead and throw in my two cents' worth. My son was always a month or two behind the recommended schedule for vaccines, because we moved when he was only a few weeks old and had difficulties getting everything all sorted out. It didn't do him any harm to have these delayed vaccinations. But I am glad that he did eventually receive all of the recommended vaccines. The peace of mind is worth it to me.
I really think that weighing pros and cons is important in a situation like this. The vast majority of children who are vaccinated don't experience side effects any worse than a slight fever. Not getting vaccinated leaves your child susceptible to the illness that the vaccine is supposed to defend against. Diseases that used to be epidemic killers have been largely wiped out because of vaccines. However, there always is a risk that your child will be one of the few who experience vaccine-related problems. You should think very carefully about this, weigh the risks, and make an informed decision.
J.B. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
My girls won't receive vaccinations until they are at least two yrs old and then they will get one at a time. I am still on the fence about some of them. Dr. Sherry Tenpenny has more info for you to read. Personally, I feel that the vaccination schedule is extremely overwhelming for babies. I could go on about my opinions regarding vaccinations.
A.M. answers from Boise on April 10, 2008
I totally understand where your coming from, I have always questioned my Drs about what vaccinations are the most important to give at the moment and what ones can waite till later. My mom is always sending me stuff regarding vaccinations, my sister and I both have 2 boys and the increasing rate of autisim is scary. It must of been for me to see your posting this morning because my mom actually emailed me some info on vaccinations. You can go to this website http://www.naturalnews.com/022955.html its kinda of alot but just scroll down near the bottom and it gives you some advice of when to give and not give a vaccine and how many at a time. You not only have to worry about SIDS but Autisim and other such disorders ADHD etc. I'm not a hollistic or naturalistic person but I do try to research both sides and take what info I get to make the best decsisions for my family. Just do what you feel comfortable with and dont let you Dr pressure you into something you dont want @ the moment. God Bless and many prayers to you.
L.J. answers from Pocatello on April 10, 2008
You are right to feel uncertain about giving your child that many vaccinations at such a small age. I have three children of my own. My oldest daughter I did everything right on schedule. She ended up with having a side effect from the vaccinations. Vaccinations have other links of side effects, they are linked to auto-immune diseases and autism. My daughter at age 5 was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, alopecia areata, she lost a majority of her hair on her head and eyebrows. My second and third child, I have not been so diligent about making sure they get their shots on time or even at all. They haven't been terribly sick or had any other side effect of having the vaccinations. I recommend that you do what you feel comfortable with doing and not let anyone pressure you into doing what you don't want to do with your child.
G.G. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
My best advice would be to read "The Vaccine Book" by Robert Sears. He details each vaccine with regards to its ingredients, side effects, which ones are controversial, which brands are safest, etc. He also advocates a delayed schedule and gives info about how to tailor a shot schedule to fit your child's needs and satisfy any state requirements. Your pediatrician should absolutely be willing to work with you and respect your decisions as you know what is best for your child. Good luck!
B.C. answers from Billings on April 10, 2008
I'm glad that what you are considering is just a delayed schedule instead of forgoing vaccinations altogether. My husband and I had several questions regarding vaccinations when we took our son in for his first round of shots. We have a remarkable pediatrician and he definitely addressed our concerns. We have decided to stay on the CDC schedule for the time being.
Why I'm glad you are not forgoing is that I think people underestimate the risks for disease their babies face on a daily basis and the least you can do is basic prevention. While most of us do not see a lot of these diseases regularly, it doesn't mean they aren't around. I live in a relatively small city and with the work I do, I see the lower bands of society. Diseases run rampant and they visit the same public places you and your baby do.
The thing about autism and ADHD and their increase in occurance is not necessarily due to vaccinations. Think about it, 50 years ago, there was no such thing as ADHD. Not that it didn't exist - there just wasn't a label for it. Same with post-partum depression. As for the rise in autism - it's just that doctors are able to make more accurate diagnosis. Instead of them thinking a kid is ADHD, they now realize that these kids have autism and can treat them more effectively. The problem with the media is they sensationalize everything and make it more dramatic and worse than it is (in most situations). These are the same news programs that made it seem like there was a huge rash of shark attacks one year - when in reality that was the least number of shark attacks that year.
As for SIDS, there has not been a reason found for it. Hundreds of theories and several sound plausible. From micro-organisms in the babies' mattresses (better wrap your mattress!) to uneven hearing between left and right ears (uh...hearing aids maybe?). You can drive yourself crazy trying to protect your child from something beyond your control.
S.B. answers from Colorado Springs on April 10, 2008
I have two children. The first child received all of his shots on time. The second did not recieve any shots until she was one year old, and then at a very slow pace. She was having a lot of issues with food allergies and I decided that her immune system was having enough issues with that and held off on the shots. I am also a stay at home mom, so my kids were never in daycare.
The bottom line is...............if your gut is telling you to wait or stop listen to it. We have been trained to ignore it these days, and just because your doctor thinks it's best to do what the CDC says does not mean that is best for your child. I say all this after working as a nurse for ten years. Continue to educate yourself and wait until/if ever you think an immunization is right. Also, you can request that your doctor order the single immunizations, and for go the multi-vaccine.
N.W. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
Your doctor is a great resource but remember that any medical decisions are yours. It is perfectly ok to tell him that you only feel comfortable with her getting one vaccine a month. My best friend is doing that with her son because he seems to be really sensative to a lot of things. Both my children did the CDC schedule and everything is just great, neither of them had fevers or anyother side effects that can come from getting vaccines. This is your decision and don't let him talk you out of what you feel comfortable with.
A Little About Me:
Full time working Mom of two beautiful children and a hardworking Firefighter for a husband.
H.W. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
Dr. Sears' The Vaccine Book is the most up-to-date (just released in November) and comprehensive, non-biased source I've found. He also gives alternative vac schedules to discuss with your dr.
Always remember you are the one in charge of your child's health. You have to be comfortable with your choices, because you'll feel guilty if you let a dr. bully you into doing something you feel is questionable and there's a bad outcome. That's where I ended up with the vaccine stuff, so I'm speaking from experience.
A.M. answers from Provo on April 11, 2008
My advice is to go with your gut. With my daughter I was clueless and did all of the reccomended shots, but with my son I have been more cautious with which ones he has gotten. Since thenI have done a lot of research on Vacinations for classes I have taken, and also disscutions with my professors on the subject, and the truth is vaccines are there because the can reduce illnesses, but a lot of the vacines given are for illness that arn't going to be life threating diseases. I would advice to do reasearch not just on the vacine, but the disease that it is preventing. Ones that I think are a good Idea to give to yound children are the DtaP, polio vaccines. If your worried about SID's after, wait until your daughter can roll over, once that happens the risk of sids, significantly decreases. If your planning on staying home with your daughter, then It wont matter what vaccines have been given until its time for her to go to school. So you can take your time until you know what vaccines if any you want her to get. Its a personal choice, and you need to be informed on the subject, due your own research. then when you have a conversation with the pediatrition you will be able to have a two way conversation where it not tjust the pediatriton saying this is why you should be vaccinated. In all of the Microbiology, nutrition, Nursing classes that was the peice of advice that we all could agree on is that you need to be informed. Then do what you feel is right for your child.
J.O. answers from Boise on April 09, 2008
i agree it can be so confusing, I went with the traditional schedule on all 7 of mine, first cause my first four are older and there wasn't the same concerns and second because I would get to confused if I did it any other way, and I do believe that they are safe, and the risk is minimal. I say go with your gut and the information you have and just let the Dr know that you respect and value his opinion but in this case you want him to do it your way. Good luck!
A.T. answers from Pocatello on April 09, 2008
I too have done lots of research in this area and my pediatrician recommends the CDC schedule, but I have decided to wait to vaccinate my baby boy who is now 13 weeks. I haven't decided what I'll do for sure, but I'm thinking that I'll have him get the DtiP at 6 months, maybe a year. I think that I'll wait longer than 2 months in between injections as well. From there, I'm not sure. Personally, I think that the amount of vacs a baby gets at once is too much for their little systems to handle.
C.V. answers from Denver on April 10, 2008
Dr Sears has an AMAZING book "The Vaccine Book: Making The Right Decision For Your Child". It shows both sides of the vaccine controversy and suggests various modified schedules. Also, Dr Jay Gordon and his website are wonderful resources on alternate schedules.
We, too, decided to do an alternate schedule with our son 6 years ago and our daughter who just turned 3. Due to the high incidence of pertussis in Colorado we gave our youngest the DTaP at 1 year and inactive polio at 2 years. Our son was 4 when he got his first shot (also DTaP) and later a polio. That's all we've done and may only do chicken pox at around 10 years if they don't get it naturally.
My kids were also breastfed for an extended period and were not in daycare or school until later in their toddler years so their risks were much lower to these diseases.
Lots to consider but such good info now.