DTaP - Did Your Baby Get It or Not?

Updated on April 28, 2010
R.S. asks from Portsmouth, VA
21 answers

Hello! I'm the mother of a very healthy 10-week old baby. We're planning to either delay vaccinations for him or else use Dr. Sear's alternative schedule. My baby is full-term, breastfed with supplemental formula, and doesn't go to day care. How likely do you think such a baby would catch whooping cough / pertussis or the rotavirus? These are on the schedule along with a few others.

Did your baby get the DTaP shot? What stories do you have to tell? What would you do in this situation? I've heard conflicting reports about the DTaP shot. Some, like at the "think twcie" site tell alarming stories about it. I would like to hear from other parents who either got the shot for their babies, or didn't. I know whooping cough is terrible, but so are the rumored side effects.

Your advice please!

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So What Happened?

Thank you, everyone. We ended up getting all his due shots for 2 months old. The shots were combined. I didn't like that at all. But the doc said splitting them would mean more aluminum and whatnot. My husband worried too about our baby getting sick. Doc sneered at Dr. Sears' book and said there's no scientific evidence for it. I don't think Sears says it's proven vaccines do this and that; he's just helping parents who want to be extra cautious. My baby is fine. No side effects save for a slight temperature rise. Still, I thought over what the ped said. I told my husband we'll split the shots next time at 4 months. I called there and the nurse who talked to me was a LOT more open-minded. Didn't try to bully me or make me feel stupid. She said split vaccines are there and it's absolutely okay to do it that way. So we'll try to follow Dr. Sears' alternative schedule from now on. By the way, no visitors, no neighbors, and no family (sadly). We do go out but not often. I'm not against vaccines at all. Just don't feel good about so many shots on the same day for such a little one. Bless you all, moms. By the way, if you can recommend a good pediatrician in the Everett-Lynnwood area, I'd appreciate it! Thanks.

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answers from Fresno on

Both of my girls have been vaccinated for absolutely everything, right on schedule. Here's why. When I was in college, I worked in a day care center where many of the parents had decided against vaccinating their kids. Well, whooping cough broke out and every single kid who wasn't vaccinated got whooping cough. It is a TERRIBLE disease. I remember having to hold onto 2 kids at a time while they slept, keeping them upright so they could breathe and not die. I just remember sitting there for several hours, holding them while their little bodies were racked with coughing, gasping for breath. It brought me to tears then, and to this day I can't understand how anybody would think it's good for a child to go through that. I would never choose to put a child through that. Now, granted, the shot does wear off after 15 years, but by then whooping cough is just a massive inconvenience and not life threatening. Due to all these unvaccinated kids in the daycare where I worked, I ended up getting whooping cough myself, and it was pretty bad as an adult as well, but not nearly as terrible as it was for those poor toddlers!

In my view, the risks are HUGE if you do not vaccinate, and miniscule if you do. Just because your child isn't in daycare doesn't mean she will not come into contact with people from third world countries who have not been vaccinated and may be carrying who-knows-what. (Do you ever eat food from grocery stores? Who do you think picks that produce? Ever shop at Wal-Mart? I'm just sayin'...)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

My 4 children (ages 9.5, 6.5, 23 months and 5 months) have all been vaccinated at the doctor's normal schedule. We have never had ANY adverse reactions to any of the vaccines. Unless you want to count the redness and minor swelling that comes with any puncture wound (which is what a shot is). I have a thought for you to consider while you mull over your decision.

You stated that your baby is full-term, breastfed/supplemented, and doesn't go to day care. Do you ever leave your house with your baby? Do you visit Grandma? Do you go to the grocery store? Do the people you visit ever leave their houses? What about eating out, do you do it? Does anyone visit your home? Did they just come from the germ-ridden waiting room at the doctor's office to get treatimet for their non-contageous illness (lets just say ingrown hair for instance)? What about animals? Do you have any, or visit anyone who does? Are all of the surfaces that your baby will EVER come into contact with absolutely blunt and pose no threat of cutting and/or scraping your child at any point in his/her life?

My point is that these vaccines are created to protect your child from VERY DEADLY diseases. While you can stay at home with your child (I do) and breastfeed to give the best immunity jump-start (I do), you can not prevent your child from ever coming into contact with everything. Unless you live in a self-sustained bubble, you will expose your child to the outside world, and all of its germs. While you may be careful as to cleanliness and medical care, sadly, many others are not. There are people who blindly take the shotty advice given on the internet as to the thousands of reasons to not vaccinate their kids...then allow them to become sick with (for instance) Pertussis....take them to the grocery store and allow them to cough all over the package of cookies that your beautiful child is insisting on holding through the entire store. Fast forward one week...your unvaccinated child is now hospitalized and very sick because of someone else's neglegance...even though you did everything you could to keep your precious one safe and healthy.

Kids get sick. It's going to happen. These vaccines were developed to decrease the severity of the illness...and in some cases eliminate it alltogether...until people start refusing them, then we see a sort of "revival" of things that have been "gone" for years (polio...the plague) Believe me, if your child contracts an illness that could have been PREVENTED by a little vaccine as an infant/toddler...you'll be kicking yourself. I promise.

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answers from Savannah on

I agree with Jamie. Mine had DTaP and were fine - if it makes you feel better though, you can look up the vaccines by name and manufacturer and then choose according to an ingredients list. This way if there is an ingredient you're uncomfortable with, you can request another manufacturer of the vaccine. Thats what we did. Here are some suggestions to get you started if you're interested....

Daptacel (http://www.fda.gov/CbER/label/dtapave051402LB.pdf) (Aventis Pasteur Laboratories)

Infarix (http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_infanrix.pdf) (Glaxo-Smith Kline)

Tripedia (http://www.vaccineshoppe.com/US_PDF/Tripedia_4620_4.04.pdf) (Sanofi Pasteur)

Pediarix (http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_pediarix.pdf) (SKB Biologicals)

To name a few.

There are a lot of vaccines, there are a lot of manufacturers. Getting familiar with what's out there and what your options are will certainly help your decision making.

We delayed vaccinations until a full on Age 1. BUT it was a very thought out decision, we see a holistic pediatrician and live a bit of an alternative lifestyle when it comes to things like this so... it worked for us. Not everyone can safely decline all vaccines and have it actually be a smart decision. For children in homes that use meat or dairy products, have more than one child, have pets, or for kids who attend school or daycare... consider your options carefully. (Raw meat, pet germs, other kid germs, etc...)

I really don't like the recent trend of no one vaccinating their kids just because of the Autism scare. No one knows where Autism comes from. Children who have been harmed by vaccinations have something called Heavy Metal Toxicity and it is not necessarily the same thing. Its causing parents to make stupid, irrational decisions for their kids, and then risking really dangerous diseases that are quite preventable. I have seen never-before-vaccinated children who had Autism or PDD-NOS and I have seen normal kids get vaccinated and by age 3 lose all verbal ability. No one knows why it happens exactly, or what triggers it. I taught preschool for a long time and saw quite a bit of both. Its baffling.

To sum it up - familiarize yourself with the information, and your options. Decide what is safest for you guys. Then vaccinate accordingly. There is nothing wrong with alternative schedules (We are on one!) just be sure that it works with your lifestyle.

Best of luck to you, and congratulations by the way! 10 weeks is such a precious stage. It goes by too fast!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi RJ,

I vaccinated my first daughter through age 3 and my second daughter never received any vaccines. My oldest had numerous health issues while my younger has always been healthier. I don't think it's coincidence.

I personally don't have a problem with the theory of vaccinations however I chose not to vaccinate anymore when I saw the added ingredients to the vaccines. The DTaP vaccine ingredients include formaldehyde (a known cancer causing agent), aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, thimerosal (mercury), and polysorbate 80 (Tween-80), and the animal byproduct Gelatin (not to mention the virus.) All diseases are scary. But the disease is not as scary if the child has a healthy immune system. These added ingredients, as well as the viruses themselves, break down the immune system so it can't do it's job properly.

Just my two cents!


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answers from Seattle on

We vaccinate on an alternative schedule. I am pretty well versed in healthcare decisions, so I do research depending on our situation.

The reason why there is a CDC recommended schedule is NOT because it is the best time or every child. The schedule is made up so MOST children will receive MOST vaccines, while still going to regular, free well baby visits. It is all about reaching low income and less educated populations, that otherwise would either not have the means to get their kids vaxed or might not understand the importance of vaccinations and booster shots.

Personally I do believe that vaccines are an important part of prventative medicine, but I do not agree with the pressure to subject to a "one size fits all" approach. Do you research and find a supportive pediatrician and then, approach the healthcare that your family receives in an individual basis. No decision that you make about this is written in stone. Take your time, and if your circumstances change - reconsider...

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I have always vaccinated my children (ages 14 months and 5 years) on schedule per our Drs advice. I have never ever had any bad reactions to any vaccines for either of my kids.

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answers from Topeka on

I vaccinate no side effects no fever,redness,hives etc. I did opt out of the Hep A for my 1 yr old she will get it when she is 3 and into preschool when it is required.Just because your baby is healthy now doesns't mean she won't get sick from you or others.My daughter was 2 months when she came down with a fever I took her in 3 times to the peds office so for they can look her over finally after 3 visits and lab work done they admitted her to the peds unit we were there for 5 days due to a virus she had to have lab work done everyday~ hrly temps checks~ the peds drs came in 3x a day to check on her when we were admitted the dr said we may have to do a spinal tap that was my worst fear spinal menningitist a fever that came on so sudden no other symptoms I had to ask if she was dying is there something wrong with her will she ever come out of this fever so many questions were asked I had to remember everything what we did where we went it was horrible who touched her any visitors from outside the US etc.Finally the fevers were coming down we were discharged on day 5 that evening after 24 hrs of being fever free and she is now 13 months old.

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answers from San Francisco on

We chose not to have this done. Our children do not go to daycare. I am not fearful of them catching this. I think as babies the immune system is not well developed enough to handle all the ingredients in the shots. You never know what can happen. It may not even have a negative reaction for years. I'm not chancing it. There are way too many nasty things in those shots.

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answers from Sacramento on

Okay. My son had a reaction to DTaP the first time he got the shot. He had a high fever that was not coming down with fever reducers (102.5 after Tylenol... gave him Motrin, then it was 103.5 at the dr when i took him in). Now, he gets the vaccines unbundled and we skip the pertussis (poor kid gets four individual shots instead of two). Whooping cough is terrible and I wish he were vaccinated against it, but the Dr told me what to look for so if he ever gets it we can catch it early and treat it.

That said... if I have another child, I'll still do the vaccine in the first round and see if there is a reaction, although I might opt to unbundle them and do only one at a time.

Hope this helps.


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answers from Dallas on

My daughters got it but the younger one had a reaction to it. It was minor (crying non-stop for 3 hours), but it scared me and from then on, we did the DT shot and left out the pertussis part until she was 2. She did fine with it at that time. HTH!

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answers from Austin on

I vaccinate my child. We've never had a reaction.

Look, we live in a global community; people constantly travel into our communities from less developed nations (South America, Mexico, Southeast Asia/China). Your child can easily be exposed to whooping cough, pertussis or rotavirus (and a host of other illnesses) simply from playground structures and swings, shopping carts, restaurant tables/highchairs, and restroom diaper changing areas... not to mention interaction with other children and people. You can't raise him in a bubble... And wait until he's in the stage where EVERYTHING goes in his mouth!

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answers from Seattle on

We absolutely got the shot... so many people here in the seattle area don't vaccinate at all, that whooping cough is REALLY common. I even know "whooping-parties" and "pox-parties" where people are intentionally exposing their kids AND THEN NOT ISOLATING THEM BUT TAKING THEM OUT IN PUBLIC. Aaaaargh. When my son was a toddler, we'd receive notification he'd been exposed at least once a month, and sometimes several times a month. The notifications died down as he got older... but I suspect that he's still being exposed just as much. I can't even count the number of times picking him up from school where *obviously* sick kids (spots, barking coughs, whooping coughs, bleary eyes, you name it) would be picked up my mums and taken straight to the grocery store. Sigh. Are contagion basics & preventative measures just not TAUGHT anymore???

Sorry... a bit of a gripe... but working in healthcare; it's really, really noxious out there. Of course, the vast majority are NOT the maliciously ignorant (like those who expose other people on purpose without their consent)... but Childcare is just too expensive, so sick kids are taken everywhere... regardless of who they are going to infect. Measles is massively on the rise as well. Sigh.



answers from Kansas City on

Both my boys got the vaccine, and had no side effects at all. My 3 month old got it at his 2 month check up. I think better safe than sorry. I do not do flu shots and such, I think they are unnecessary, but the general vaccines I will give.



answers from Columbus on

Both of my children ages 5 and almost 3 have been vaccinated. We stuck with the Dr's recommended/ normal schedule. It seems a bit delayed compared to some I've seen or heard about. My son will get his last set of boosters next month. My daughter just got her "kindergarten" boosters. Neither of my children had any adverse reactions to the vaccinations and are very happy, healthy children. Both top the charts for growth and development.
My children are not in daycare.... so I do NOT do the seasonal vaccines such as flu or h1n1, but all the others we did. As far as the odds of your baby catching whooping cough/ pertusis, or rotavirus. Anything is possible. My nephew was not in daycare either, but he however has had both whooping cough & rotavirus in the past the past two years (poor baby). Are you planning on having your baby/child around other children, taking them shopping or out to dine with you (even durig cold/ flu season)? What type of environment do you or your husband work in... is he/you exposed to illness quite a bit? There unfortunately A LOT of parents that a.) can't afford to leave their children home when they are sick, or b.) don't care about exposing others to their children or themselves when they are sick. I think that vaccinating your child can be a difficult decision, but you have to do what you think is best.



answers from Seattle on

If you do vaccinate, I have read to try to obtain separate D, T, and P vaccines without thimerosal if possible (Dr Donald Miller) Pertussis is the most serious in the 1st six mths of life (Dr Sears, The Vaccine Book). If your not travelling to or have multiple people from other countries etc etc, and the baby is at home, I wouldnt get the dang thing. DTap has a lot more chemicals in it compared with some of the other vaccines I have heard. We have a 15 mth old, unvaccinated. Only one we will probably get is the Polio vaccine and that will be after the age of 2



answers from Seattle on

Hi RJ,
I, too, do an alternative vaccination schedule for my 2 kids. My oldest has had the DTaP, but I waited until he was much older (2 yo I think). And even then I think I only got him one, maybe 2 of the series. And even THOSE TWO were spaced farther then "recommended". Listen, I read a few of the responses....many people said "my child/ren are fine and they have had all their shots.". I'm happy that they have not had any bad reactions...that they can see right now anyway (Who's to say they won't have problems later?). Not every person or childs system is the same, so just becuase one child didn't have a reaction, does not mean everyones will be fine too. If that were so, none of us would have allergies! Or, we'd all have the same allergies! You are doing the right thing by researching and asking questions, then do what is right for YOU and YOUR family. Our reasons for spacing ours out is becuase Autism is our family (Hubby's side), so we were not about to take ANY risks. We go to Woodinville Pediatrics and our Dr is very understanding of our situation and the concerns we have. He's been nothing but supportive. So, based on YOUR family's history, make the decision that's right for you and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Best wishes... ;-)



answers from Seattle on

Sorry that I don't have time to read all the responses, but I wanted to tell you that my oldest (girl) had the regular vaccine schedule and my youngest (boy) is getting the Dr. Sears alternative schedule. They are both just fine and had no side effects from any vaccine except Rotavirus. I would think twice about that one. The vaccine was recalled when my daughter should have gotten it, so she didn't get it and got the virus instead. It was horrible, but she survived! My son had the rotovirus vaccine and it is the only one she reacted to (like mild rotovirus). I knew more about vaccines with my second, so I did things differently and did a delyed schedule. I still think it is important to get your child vaccinated. Neither of my children have been in childcare and both were breastfed, but my daughter was exposed to pertusis by my sister. She contracted peripertusis and had no idea she had it. Her doctor told her on multiple visits that her throat lining was damaged from a previous virus and she would just have to wait it out. On a 3rd visit (after months of dry coughing) a nurse decided to test her for pertusis. It was very scary and she felt horrible to have exposed my 6 week old. Our ped. had us put our daughter on antibiotics as a precaution because she was not fully vaccinated and pertussis is VERY dangerous for infants. Giving antibiotics to your infant just doesn't feel right! There have also been several preschools with measles outbreaks in our area. It isn't the vaccinated preschoolers who are at risk in these situations, but the younger siblings at home! My son will get the MMR, but not until right before he starts preschool.
Good luck, it is a difficult decision. I thought about not vaccinating, but every time there was an outbreak in the news, I would freak out and worry that my son would contract something while out in public (think grocery cart handles, yuck!) and knew that the best compromise for me was do to do the delayed schedule.



answers from Seattle on

I read your follow up. I am a great believer in vaccines (and get really frustrated with all the misinformation out there that makes them look bad), but, this doesn't meant to me that considering an alternative schedule is a bad thing. My understanding is that Dr. Sears book offers at least one very reasonable alternative schedule. Its a shame your doc was so dismissive.

Since you are vaccinating, i won't go into how infants can die of pertussis picked up at the store or even from mom or dad (make sure YOUR vaccinations are up to date, as another way to help your kid - including flu), but, i did want to let you know that there is some evidence to suggest that the combined vaccines are easier on the infant (fewer shots, fewer consecutive exposures to illness), but also that they provide better immunity in the long run. I don't know how conclusive the evidence is, but, it does exist.



answers from Seattle on

I work at a children's hospital and have 3 children myself. It is still possible to catch all those viruses and more from other adults he may have contact with or people you and his dad have contact with, unless you live in a bubble, the reality is you can't keep your child from ever getting sick.

I have seen many children get their vaccines without any problems. I don't know if the stories on those sites are true. There are alot of lies on the web. Your doctor will be your best person to discuss this with, to help you with your concerns about "alarming stories".



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Educate yourself about all the vaccines out there. And figure out what works best for you and your family. Do you live in an area where certain diseases are prevalent? I live overseas and Hepatitis is very common around here so I did get it but I'm not I would have if I was living in the states. My daughter was a preemie so I delay all of her vaccines and I only get two at the most done at a time. We got the first rotavirus but DD had a severe reaction to it and I refuse to get any more. We have had no other reactions to any vaccines other than being tired and a little cranky. I also ask ahead of time which manufacturers will be used and research those online before they are given. I have opted out of a couple but that was after intently looking into them. This is a very heated topic and getting other peoples opinion can be great but do what works for your family.

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