Seeking Advice About Delayed/selective Vaccine Scheduling

Updated on May 06, 2008
R.W. asks from Anaheim, CA
42 answers

I am looking for information and advice about delayed/selective vaccine scheduling. Currently we are splitting his immunizations, in other words we gave him 2 out of 4 vaccines at his 2 month check up and then took him back two weeks later for the next two. We did the same at this 4 month check up, although we haven't taken him back yet for the two remaining shots. The more I read and research the more confused and concerned I become. I am wondering if there are any moms out there who chose a delayed and or selective vaccination schedule for their children and if you are willing to share how this worked. I really like our pediatrician, but even she can't/won't say anything about vaccinations except that she recommends we get them but supports whatever we choose. This is a scary subject and both myself and my husband just want to try and do what we think is in our son's best interest. Any input would be greatly encouraged. Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone who responded regarding my request for information about delayed and alternate vaccine schedules. I did purchase and read Dr. Sears Vaccine book. It was exceptionally informative. Recommend that anyone questioning vaccines for their kids read this book. It is written from an objective point of view and answered most of my questions and concerns. All of the responses I got were very appreciated. I know this is a major issue for parents raising children at this time, but it's good to know we're all in it together!

Featured Answers

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dr. Robert Sears has a new book, "The Vaccine Book" - I believe you can get it on Amazon, or at www.thevaccinebook.com. It gives lots of great info.

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I talked my husband into not getting my daughter who is now 2 1/2 any shots at all. She is perfectly fine and although at about 12 months old she got whooping cough. She lived through it and ( i did feel really bad at the time) i have since read several articals and opinions that these childhood illnesses build up the immune system and could prevent cancer in later life. There are several books about immunizations you might find interesting. My chiropractor loaned me a couple. Do some research and talk with you husband and see what you can come up with together. Good luck

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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

You can get the book what dr won't tell you about immunizations...it has a recommended vaccine schedule in there.

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J.C.

answers from San Diego on

I'm so glad that you're questioning this. I do not support vaccination as it does NOT equal Immunization. A child is not immune to an illness unless they have it or the NATURAL immunity is passed on during pregnancy. You're right, there is a great deal of controversy out there about these vaccines. The truth comes down to sheep mentality. The school will tell you that you have to vaccinate your child.. why?? BECAUSE THEY RECEIVE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR EACH VACCINATED CHILD! Oh ... and so does your doctor! Now does it make sense why they pressure people? Money! Billions of dollars are made off these vaccines.
Also, NONE of them have ever had a longitudinal study done on them. The longest test was 25 DAYS! No test has ever been done on those that are given in a combo shot such as the MMR or the DPT.
Vaccines were all created when the illnesses were on their way out. And most are for illnesses we don't have in our country, not because we are vaccinating, but because we lack the right environment for breeding. Third world countries do, however, contain the right environment for the dieases to flourish. ASK your doctor when the last case of polio that he treated was. Or what about the last case of Hepatitis B in a newborn.
We are now seeing cases of these illnesses pop up and who is to blame? They say it's those who aren't vaccinating, but the viruses are just mutating and finding ways to overcome our vaccines or are returning because what we use as a vaccination is not what the illnesses is... such as Small Pox in which Jenner created it using the Cow Pox illness... they are NOT the same.
So much of vaccines is illogical. Back to the Hep B vaccine... have you ever wondered WHY they give this at birth when the people who get it are illegal drug users and those with multiple sexual partners? I know for certain my baby was not having multiple partners when I wasn't lookin... and he certainly didn't do drugs. And since when did Chicken Pox become Taboo.. I just turned 30 and when I was a child we threw chicken pox parties so we would all catch it and then become naturally immune! Measles, mumps and Pertussis can all be treated with antibiotics and once the child is over it he/she will never get it again! How beautiful is that? How simple?
Small pox is actually given as the COW Pox virus... they are NOTHING alike! So unless you are raising a little cow... don't bother.
HIV/AIDS was created through the mishandling of one of our vaccines. And now they want to create and HIV vaccine and put it on the mandated list for all 12 year olds. What that means is that we will have an overwhelming population of children infected with HIV. Sound good? I didn't think so.
Vaccines are wrapped in Mercury at a level 30x that which an adult should consume in a month.. all in one shot! The AMA and CDC has "suggested" that mercury no longer be used and so now it is called Thimersol.. don't be fooled It's STILL mercury under a different name. And California is supposed to have mercury free vaccines.... if you think that's really happening then you're delusional. The vaccine companies are not going to throw out billions of dollars of product. And they also are wrapped in formaldehyde, which is a KNOWN cancer causing substance. Ever wonder why we have an increased number of children developing cancer/leukemia?
Although you have a son, take a listen to the gardisil commercial the next time it's on. Listen closely to the wording at the end... it can't protect you from all strains... it MAY not provide protection at all. WHY WOULD WE DO THIS THEN??? Why risk it going awry in our children's bodies for no reason?
Here in San Diego there was a small outbreak of measles. Yes, it started by 3 children who were not vaccinated. They were treated with antibiotics and they are fine now. But WHY did between 12-15 children who came in contact with these 3 develop the measles if they were vaccinated and supposedly immune?
Why was the FLU vaccine said to be completely ineffective? The manufacturers admitted that they made it for the wrong strain.
You do NOT have to vaccinate to enroll your child. You can fill out the exemption form. There is a HUGE difference between MANDATING a list of vaccines and making something mandatory. The vaccines are only mandated.
Vaccines increase your child's susceptibility to ear infections, asthma, autism, apsperger's, allergies and other maladies.
I have a great book for you as well... The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is Not Immunization by Tim O'Shea. He also sites his sources so feel free to look them up. I did and I was completely dumbfounded as to how accurate he was.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

R.,

this is the vaccine schedule and link for the book that is popular among folks in the autism community who vaccinate. My older child (who has autism) was fully vaccinated according to the regular schedule. My younger child we started to vaccinate using this schedule and he had a bad reaction to the HIB so we are currently not vaccinating him. My older child is 4 and we've also quit vaccinating him. It really is a person decision where there are going to be folks who don't agree with whatever you decide to do regardless of what that is so do what you are comfortable with and tell people to mind their own business if they start lecturing you.

Here is Dr. Stephanie Cave's delayed vaccine schedule from "What Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations"

http://www.amazon.com/What-Doctor-About-Childrens-Vaccina...

VACCINE SCHEDULE

ALL VACCINES SHOULD BE THIMEROSAL FREE

"Educate Before You Vaccinate"

Birth - Hepatitis B (test mother for Hep B - if positive, give vaccine - if
negative, hold until 4-5 years of age)

4 months - Hib, IPV

5 months – DtaP

6 months - Hib, IPV

7 months – DtaP

8 months – Hib

9 months - DTaP

15 months - Measles

17 months - Hib, IPV

18 months - DTaP

21 months - Mumps

27 months – Rubella

2-3 years - Prevnar - 1 dose (Please do your research on this one, there are many adverse reactions reported including death)

4-5 years - Hepatitis B (3 doses - first two 1 month apart, 3rd given 6 months
after first)

4-5 years - Varicella (if blood test for immunity is negative)



4-5 years - DTaP, IPV boosters



4-5 years - Test titers for Measles, Mumps, Rubella. Give only those that test negative for immunity and split out the components 6 months apart if more than one is needed.

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L.C.

answers from San Diego on

There's a great essay/article about this in Brain, Child Magazine. Here's a link to the story:
http://www.brainchildmag.com/essays/spring2008_weston.asp

We also chose to split up our daughter's vaccines. We believe in the efficacy of vaccination, but also felt the evidence showed that splitting them up was a good idea. The author also recommends some books at the end of her piece, including the Dr. Sears Vaccine Book.

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K.R.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi R.,
You can go to the TACA website (www.tacanow.org) and look under vaccines. There you will find a lot of information about how to make this decision and some suggestions if you choose to vaccinate that will make it safer for your child.
Hope this helps

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D.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

we just gave our 6 month old daughter her first set of shots last week. the DTAP. check out www.drfeder.com.
from here, we will do a selected vaccine schedule.
i know many moms who chosen not to vaccinate at all!
good luck!

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D.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter had a life threatening reaction to her MMR, so we have altered our vaccination of our kids. They knew that my daughter was allergic to eggs and Neomycin, both contraindications against getting the shot. But they gave it to her anyway. I didn't know any better at the time, but I have since learned that I need to look up all the ingredients in a vaccine before I allow my child to get it. Because ultimately, I am the one who is responsible for anything that happens to her. The doctors have a tendency to play up the benefits of vaccines and play down the risks. But it is a decision only you can make. If you are uncomfortable with the risks, don't get the shot. The doctors are not going to accept personal (or financial) responsibility if something goes wrong. Any time you have ANY procedure done there is risk involved, even if it is a bacterial infection from getting an intramuscular shot in a dirty hospital. With all of the antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria out there, we chose not to get any shots at birth in the hospital environment. We get our shots only at the Pediatrician's office. And we do our homework. My kids get one shot at a time, so that if they have a reaction we know exactly what they are reacting too and can eliminate it from their vaccine schedule. Plus, I won't give them shots for things they won't get exposed to in a school environment, like the sexually transmitted ones (Hep B and HPV) and the ones that have been eradicated (rubella and polio). I feel the most immediate threat in this area is Pertussis, which still strikes a lot of kids the the southwest and is a terrifying disease. If my kids don't get chicken pox by age ten I'll get them the shot so that they don't get it while they are going through puberty. But I'd rather they have lifelong immunity from having the disease young when it's not dangerous. With the shots you have to remember to get booster shots every 10 years or you put yourself at risk for having a serious illness. Each shot is personal to each child. We've made adjustments because we had a terrifying experience and we learned the hard way the "one size fits all" vaccinating is just not appropriate. If your child has any immune issues at all (including eczema and asthma and food allergies) you should do your homework because chances are the tech giving your child a shot either doesn't know or won't tell you. I also take issue with some of the ingredients in the vaccines. For example, the Hepatitis A shot has formaldahyde and diploid cells from aborted human fetuses. That is very scary and unethical to me. This is a very personal decision, so do your homework and don't let anyone bully you into making a decision either way. You are the one that has to live with your decision.

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A.Y.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
you and I are in the same boat. I am 28, first time mom to a wonderful 11 week old, married for 2.5 years (but I've been with my husband a total of 8 years). So far my son has only received one vax which is the hepb shot. I delayed the shot at birth and he received two doses one at 4 weeks and one at 8. It wasn't until after those two shots I start to soak up any and all info I could on vaccines and the deseases they protect against. To be honest I haven't decided what to do yet. I'm scared to death to vaccinate him (I have a strong family history of autoimmune disorders) I also have a 2.5 yr old nephew and a 16 mo neice both vaccinated and appear fine but my nephew suffers from constant fevers for reasons unknown. My sister says given the chance she doesn't know if she'd chose to not vaccinate him or not. I am faced with that question.
Dr Bob (Sears) did write an excellent book. If I do make the decision to vaccinate I would follow his selective schedule. Dr Jay Gordon (Jenny Macarthys Dr that you may have heard of) suggests waiting until a child is 6 months (perferably a year) before giving any vaccines. Including DTaP, he feels the threat of whooping cough does not outweigh the risks involved in getting this vaccine. A lot of people disagree with him 99% of Drs according to him) but what he has to say makes sense. His point of view is to vaccinate later when a childs immune system is better established to handle the vaccines if he vaccinates at all and that depends on the individual child/medical history.
Dr Jim Sears states on one of the faqs on the askdrsears website that the illnesses children are exposed to in group settings are things we typically can't vaccinate against. And if you look up the records on the CA dept of Health website, you can find data documenting each case of vaccine preventable illness for the state. It may surprise most people to see many of these things we vaccinate against have zero occurances year after year in the entire state, in the entire country. Its mind boggling the number of vaccines the CDC and the AAP suggest now a days, I looked at my own immunization records to find I was given only 5 vaccines in my life and at that time that was acceptable.
My son is exclusively breast fed. I plan to keep that up as long as he will but no less than two years for sure. I think that is an important componet to choosing not to vaccinate. Like I said, I still haven't decided what to do, the more I read the more I lean towards waiting.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dr. Neustaedter puts out great articles reg. vaccines. Sign up to be on his mailing list. Try looking up previous articles.
Which ever decision you make be sure that it is an educated decision. Many kids recieve vacs because we are told to do so but never ask questions or research.

Randall Neustaedter OMD
Classical Medicine Center
1779 Woodside Rd, 201C
Redwood City, CA 94061
+1 ###-###-####

If you have questions or feedback contact me at: [email protected]____.com

To view all previous newsletter articles go to: www.Cure-Guide.com/Newsletter

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please visit my website www.victoryoveradhd.com
You can delay all vaccines or have none at all. The MMR is very dangerous since the vaccine contains three live viruses.
Vaccines caused my twins ADHD, seizures,allergies, and tourettes.
D. Merlin
Mother/author

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K.S.

answers from Honolulu on

I don't have any specific advice, but I can totally understand your concern about vaccinations. Like other moms who have responded, I'm also reading "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Robert Sears. He breaks down each recommended vaccine simply and clearly. He offers seemingly neutral information on the vaccines' background, purpose, side effects, etc. He also presents all perspectives on the vaccine debate. The idea is to help you make your own informed decisions. You may want to check it out.

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L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R. - current research and contraversy regarding the link to autism and vaccines are still in debate. However, the only shot that is in the hot seat is the MMR shot (measles, mumps and rubella). This shot is given at 12 months - 15 months. Its given in one dose. The recommendation for concerned parents is to have the shot given in three separate doses. Most all other vaccines during the first year of life are safe from the vaccine-autism scare. Best of luck to you.

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R.V.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R.,

I'm really glad you asked this question, you're a great mom! By the time I'd really looked into it, my son had already had most of his shots on the regular schedule. He's fine, but if I could go back and do it again, I'd definitely follow Dr. Sears' alternative vaccine schedule. He's published a great book on the issue, and I'll follow his schedule if and when I have any more children. Here's a link to the part of his website that talks a little bit about it...http://www.askdrsears.com/thevaccinebook/labels/Alternati...
And a quote from the site describing his alternative schedule:
Is it worth the trouble to spread a baby's vaccines out over more visits so less shots are given at a time?
Thursday, August 23, 2007

The main difference in my suggested alternative vaccine schedule is it spreads the infant vaccines out over the first few years of life, instead of bunching them all up in the first 18 months. It gives fewer vaccines at a time, gives the most important vaccines first, and slightly delays the less important vaccines. But ultimately the end result is the same - a fully vaccinated child. What are the benefits of my alternative schedule compared to the standard one?

* By only giving two vaccines at a time (instead of as many as 6), I decrease the chance of chemical overload from grouping so many vaccines chemicals all together at once. This allows a baby's body to better detoxify the chemicals one or two at a time.
* I give only 1 aluminum-containing vaccine at a time (instead of the recommended 4). Overloading on this metal can be particularly toxic to the brain (See Resources, page ___ of The Vaccine Book to view the research on this).
* I give only one live-virus vaccine component at a time to allow the body's immune system to better handle the live viruses in these vaccines.
* Giving fewer shots at a time may decrease the side effects, in my experience.
* Giving fewer shots at a time also makes it easier to figure out which vaccine a child is reacting to if a severe reaction occurs.

Sure, vaccinating this way means more visits to the doctor's office, more gas money, more insurance co-pays and more time off work to take your baby in. BUT, some parents may decide it's worth the extra time, money and trouble.

Good luck!

R.

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J.Z.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R.,

I haven't read all the other responses so this may be a duplicate. We vaccinate by the Dr. Sears alternative schedule found in his Vaccine Book. I wasn't aware of this schedule until he was four months old but we picked it up from there. Here is a quote from Dr. Sears website as it is not in the book: "

The most common situation I hear about is a parent who has already given their baby the 2 and/or 4 month shots, and now wants to switch to an alternative schedule. Here’s how to do that. Make a copy of my alternative schedule and cross off everything that your baby has already had, no matter when it is due on my schedule. Then at your baby’s next checkup continue with whatever is due according to my schedule. This most likely will be DTaP and Rota, then Pc and HIB a month late".

Anyway hope that is helpful! I know it puts my mind at ease!

Jennifer

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G.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I split up the vaccinations just like you have started to do. It takes more work to go the the doctor's more often, but I feel more comfortable with not bombarding my son's little neurological system with so much at once. He is 14 months old, now, and he is doing great. My doctor was very supportive of my decision. You just have to be diligent about making sure they are still spaced out correctly.

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T.B.

answers from San Diego on

R.:

Please, please vaccinate your child. My husband is a virologist and is seeing an increase of diseases that vaccinations would other wise control. If you are delaying to avoid the discomfort that is one thing but your child needs to be protected. Having lived in two countries where children do not get necessary vaccinations and seeing countless die when it was unnecessary is a wake up call.

T

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

We did the same with our last 2 children because one was a premie and very small for her size and the other was a boy and we just wanted to eliminate that worry of did the vaccine cause anything that might go wrong. Nothing did go wrong with our son and our daughter is the healthiest of the group, however, I still stand by our decision to separate the vaccines. There is absolutely no harm in what your doing but you will just have to be that more vigilant about making sure your son stays up to date on his shots. More work for you, but aren't they worth it!

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

A lot of children in Europe are not vaccinated at all until they are 2 years, so no rush. Don't just go off what Americans do, it is wise to look around and ask lots of questions like you are doing...Bravo!

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P.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears - he is a local ped and it's an unbiased book that gives you the facts and you can make your own decision. This is a hot/controversial subject right now and you have to decide what is best for you and your kids.

He also has a delayed vaccine schedule in the book that you can follow.

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N.S.

answers from San Diego on

We have delayed/selected vaccines. For example, the Heb B shot that is given within 48 hours of birth-our daughter has still not received any Hep B shots. Our Ped is the same as yours, recommends getting them, but also supports our decision. It is a really personal decision and very hard to decifer all of the information that is out there. It is also very scary to make these decisions. I know that there is no scientific link so far to autism, etc., but get out and talk to some moms of autistic children. I personally know 3 autistic children. Two of the three dirctly link a change in their kids behavior to the day they were give vaccines. Make sure that the vaccines that they are receiving do not have Thimerisol(spelling?)in them (most don't anymore, but the flu vaccine is still produced with it). I am certainly not an authority on the matter, but if you would like to talk about it, I am happy to talk with you. N. S. [email protected]____.com ###-###-####

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A.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

I can totally understand your nervousness about getting the vaccinations. I think the delayed vaccination process that all the ladies are talking about is a great idea. Especially with the connection to autism. However, I do highly support the vaccinations. I have two children, 9 and 13, and yes, they were vaccinated on the traditional schedule.
A few ladies have said that there's really no reason to get them because there hasn't been any cases of the illnesses these vaccinations protect against. Well, there's no cases of the illnesses because THE VACCINATIONS WORK! Sorry, but I believe that needed to be said. And I dont' know about the schools getting more money because kids are vaccinated. But they don't want nonvaccinated kids in the schools because they can potentially bring in an illness, and if there are other kids not vaccinated... well, you get the idea. As a matter of fact, my daughter had gotten one vaccination 1 month earlier than she was supposed to get it, I had to get a doctors note saying that her vaccination was fine and did not pose a problem. Otherwise, the school was not going to let her enroll... and this was a public school.
I can't convince you one way or another, the decision you make for your child is your own. I just felt the other side needed to be heard.

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E.N.

answers from San Diego on

I am doing the same thing you are. I am so torn on the subject. I can't wait to read your responses.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R., I know that the current thing now days is to forego vaccs...I myself think that the side effects from the vaccs, the fever, soreness and cranky baby is far less than the suffering that would take place if the child were to contract a serious illness that a simple shot would have prevented. I talked to my childrens Dr, and they both have received the vacc that were mercery free. and some were combined 2-3 vaccs into one shot, so if they were to have 4-5 shots, they actually received 2-3. My mom always to me that a little hurt now prevented a big hurt later.

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,
What a wonderful question! It seems to have sparked quite a few responses too. I will just add in my quick response. We found several books helpful, some already mentioned. The best for us, and, forgive me, the exact title escapes me, was something like "what your doctor won't tell you about vaccines" or "what you doctor doesn't tell you about vaccines" We got it at Barnes and Noble and I think it is a series on different medical issues, all with similar titles. Also, there is a yahoo group called vaccinations. It have been around for several decades and there are A LOT of people on it. Most of whom, don't or selectively vaccinate. That might also be a good resource to read past posts to hear about other parent's experiences.

Best of luck and congratulations on your new one. I was 27 when my son was born (now 14 months) and he was a welcome surprise for us as well!

Take care,
M.

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L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

I would try to stagger the vaccines as much as possible so that your child's system is not suddenly assaulted with all of these foreign substances at once. There has to be something said about all these parents speaking up and saying that their children were fine until they were vaccinated and that's when they lost their child to autism. And with the Autism diagnosis rate being 1 in 150, the percentages are not good. I'm not sure if not vaccinating your child would be the best option but I definitely believe that a more conservative vaccination makes more sense.

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.-

I have 3 young children and I have kept them all on the traditional vaccine schedual. I have seen what it looks like when children are not vaccinated and I wouldn't take that chance with my children just as I wouldn't allow any of them to be in a car without a carseat. There is such a small risk to side effects with vaccination, and due to the larger number of parents opting out of vaccinating, our littlest of babies are just not safe any longer, especially if you travel or expose your chidren to ANYONE even close family members who are in contact with "people".
I attached an article from the LA Time that might be intrested in. It speaks to the increase outbreak of measels, as well as it mentions how 10/12 scientist who first wrote the article linking autism to vaccines has retracted. I have also heard that on this board that vaccinating is purely economical and doctors are getting RICH from vaccinating children. But this is so not true. On average the doctors are making $1 or $2 dollars per shot and some cases just breaking even to what they lay out. When speaking to Peds most say they vaccinate due to public health- and with out these vaccines, our children would be suffering even more. The reason there are so many shots, it it may take 2, 3, or 4 shots of one vaccine to provide high efficacy and protection. And even if you are nursing 100% you can provide enough antibodies to protect against all disease.

So for your consideration here is an article to read. Sorry for the lenghth to this post, good luck.

Rise in measles prompts concern
More than twice as many cases, including 12 in San Diego, have been reported nationwide so far this year than in all of 2007.
By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 2, 2008
The United States is on track to report its highest incidence of measles cases since 2001, exacerbated by a rise in outbreaks worldwide and by clusters of people who are opting out of the vaccine because of religious beliefs or fears of a purported link between the shot and autism, health officials said Thursday.
As of April 25, there were 64 reported cases of measles nationwide this year, including 12 in San Diego.
One in five cases required hospitalization, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were about 30 cases of measles in all of 2007.

Before the advent of federally funded vaccine programs in the last decade, outbreaks spread quickly among low-income children who lacked access to vaccinations.

"Now, I think we're seeing a different trend with communities or pockets of under-immunized children" that are more linked to vaccine exemptions, Schuchat said.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red watery eyes. It also can cause diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, brain injury, seizures and death.

Before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, there were up to 4 million reported cases and up to 500 deaths each year in the United States. But vaccination programs were so successful that public health officials declared widespread transmission of the disease eliminated in 2000.

The recent outbreak that infected a dozen children in San Diego underscores the concern of public health officials.

An unvaccinated 7-year-old boy who visited Switzerland brought the disease to his school in January.

Nearly 10% of the students at the San Diego Cooperative Charter School had received personal-belief exemptions from vaccinations.

The boy infected five children at his school, four at his doctor's office and his two siblings. All were unvaccinated.

A separate outbreak, centered in Tucson, spread after an adult visitor from Switzerland in February was hospitalized for measles and pneumonia.

As of Thursday, there have been at least 17 confirmed cases, and all had no records of vaccination. The outbreak is ongoing.

Measles cases are on the rise in New York City, with 22 cases reported in Brooklyn. Health officials have linked those cases to outbreaks in Europe and Israel.

Switzerland, for example, is facing its most severe outbreak in the last decade; 2,000 people have fallen ill in the last two years. The disease has spread especially rapidly in communities that believe in alternative medicine and avoid vaccination.

In Israel, 1,000 people have fallen ill since August in an outbreak that started among nonimmunized ultra-orthodox communities in Jerusalem.

In Los Angeles County, officials reported one measles case in April in which a preschool-aged child was hospitalized.

U.S. health officials are concerned about small but increasing numbers of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children.

At least 10 epidemiological studies have discredited theories linking the measles vaccine to autism, said Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

But the skepticism has had an effect: Of the 64 who have fallen ill in the United States this year, 63 had no records of vaccination. (The vaccine is 99% effective but can fail in a small number of cases.)

"As you start to see an erosion of confidence in vaccines and there are pockets of people choosing not to vaccinate, this is what you'll see," said Offit, a co-inventor and co-patent-holder of the vaccine for rotavirus. "Measles is not eliminated from the world."

Sizable outbreaks have hit nations in Europe where distrust of vaccines is stronger. Public skepticism rose sharply after a 1998 report in the medical journal Lancet linked the measles vaccine to autism.

The report's conclusion was retracted by 10 of 12 coauthors six years later, but, in the meantime, public confidence in the vaccine dropped and measles cases rose.

Though immunization rates are far higher in the United States, some researchers are concerned that trust is eroding among its residents as well.

In California, 1.11% of kindergartners had received personal-belief exemptions from vaccines in 2002; four years later, 1.41% of kindergartners had received such exemptions.

Though only 0.85% of Los Angeles County's kindergartners had personal-belief exemptions from vaccines in 2006, 1.56% received exemptions in Orange County, 2.06% in San Diego County, 3.07% in Santa Barbara County and 4.12% in Marin County in the Bay Area.

Despite overwhelming evidence by mainstream scientific organizations refuting a link between vaccines and autism, it remains a popular topic for some websites, some celebrities and Hollywood.

In January, ABC-TV broadcast its premiere episode of "Eli Stone," in which a lawyer wins a $5.2-million judgment after arguing that a mercury-based preservative in a vaccine triggered autism in a child. The American Academy of Pediatrics had urged the network to cancel the program.

In March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to the family of a now 9-year-old girl whose parents said she showed autism-like symptoms after receiving a series of vaccinations as a toddler.

Vaccine critics say the case demonstrates a vaccine-autism link. But government officials say that the case makes no such concession, and that the girl had an extremely rare condition that most autistic children do not have.

Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy model and actress who has written about raising an autistic son, has appeared twice on "Larry King Live" since September, arguing that vaccines trigger autism.

In her most recent appearance in April, McCarthy said, "This debate is over. Vaccines can trigger autism. . . . I've confirmed it."

Questioned on whether her conclusion was based on scientific or statistical evidence, McCarthy said, "I believe that parents' anecdotal information is science-based information."

Researchers say that is a wrong approach. Study after study has shown no link, they say.

A recent study of California children showed that autism rates continued to rise after most vaccine manufacturers in 1999 removed thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative in childhood vaccines that critics have targeted.

"It gets to the point where somebody is just wrong, and it's not only wrong, but it can potentially hurt their child or someone who sits next to that child," Offit said.

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

i have opted out of vaccines for my 7mo son. he will receive some of them as he gets older and can handle it. i read that the dose for the vaccines given to our wee babies is the same dose they give to adults. regardless, there are a lot of preservatives and fillers in them that are not good. true, most of the thimerosal is gone from the vaccines except trace amounts but they replaced it with something...aluminum is just another heavy metal with its own set of issues. i also recommend The Vaccine Book.

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

We are doing an alternative schedule but we started kind of late. I wish we had done what you are doing. I recommend reading The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. We have used that as a guide. It has information on all the vaccines and a recommended schedule. He believes in vaccination and states that there is not necessarily strong evidence against the current schedule but feels it certainly does not hurt to spread things out and priortize. It is great you have an understanding pediatrician because ours was not supportive at all and we had to change.

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Okay, not to sound controversial or anything, but... I have to say this... with all that so called "knowledge" that everyone else spews about vaccinations, the facts remain the same. There's been no direct link to anything, such as autism, etc... what one dr suggests, ten can refute. It IS a personal choice however, and I didn't delay any of my kids vaccinations except the one year old shot. I opted to delay the MMR shot, and the flu I exempted out of, simply because it "IS" last year's strain, and why give it to him if it's useless? However, the other ones are VERY valuable, and really with all the sicknesses around nowadays, is that a chance you want to take? With every opt out you take on the vaccinations, you're exposing your child to a whole new genre of disease instead. Plus, the schools require the kids to be vaccinated, and you've gotta be more vigilant about not ptuting your child around someone who's been vaccinnated recently, or is sick, etc. It's a hassle bottom line. It's for their benefit, and health. Of COURSE someone's gonna say "Oh the dr and companies get money for every child vaccinated" SIghs... *rolling eyes* They make money no matter what.... Don't be silly! DO what you feel is best... I've done the prolonged route, and simply put.. They're all fine.. No worries here.. I'm sure your baby will be healthy as an ox as well... Do what you consider best! Don't let anyone railroad you into, or not into doing what you want.Smile.s.. keep updates with us! We care!
S.

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J.M.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi Mama R.,
When confronted with vaccinations for my child, I did a lot of research. Please, please, please buy and watch this video: Vaccines: The Risks, The Benefits, The Choices with Dr. Sherri J. Tenpenny. It's was the best answer to my questions. Here is the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Vaccines-Risks-Benefits-Choices-non...

It is the best, most informative dvd about vaccines. People always look at vaccines as a whole, but really each virus is it's own situation. She does not make any general accusations. She gives the breakdown on each virus. Talks about their history in humans and their history as a vaccine, what they do to you, etc... . She also gives you the resources to look up the information yourself. What I love most about this dvd is that a lot of the information Dr. Tenpenny uses is straight from the Center of Disease Control (CDC). You can look into it on their website. Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

hello R., I just read your message and am confused. What is the reason for splitting the vaccinations? I assume it is for the child's comfort...in reality the MD can not advise you beyond requesting that you have your child vaccinated. It is your choice ultimately whether or not, and how you do it. Obviously in your case, not vaccinating is not an isuue, because you are actually getting the vaccinations. The problem with internet advise is that we can learn about Chinese medicine and what they do, or wholistic medicine and how they treat illness. The reality is that our population in California, and the high desert has exploded. We have diseases that those countries may not. For example, Chicken pox seems like a simple childhood illness, however in a small percentage of cases....chicken pox does more damage, or can go dormant in nerve coverings and become shingles in adulthood. Please vacinate your child on time. They will be just as uncomfortable with 2 shots every 2 weeks as they will be with 4 at once. I work in an ER and see seriously ill children often and would hate for your child to be one of them. Thank you for considering my opinion. C.

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J.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi-I have worked as a social woeker with babies who are developmentally delayed (autism etc.) for several years. There is a lot of speculation about childhood vaccines causing autism. Basically there is no proof if the vaccine do or don't cause autism. So, I decided to do what you are doing by having the pediatrician split the vaccines up (2 at a time). I delayed my 3 year old son's MMR vaccine until he turned 2 years old and I plan to do the same with my 11 month old son as well. My thought after years of working with these children that most children have a genetic link to autism, but there is something enviromental setting it off. There are too many vaccines given at one time. It could be the immunizations or something in our enviroment such as pesticides. You may also want to not give the chicken pox vaccination as well. Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

A great book is The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears.

M.

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R.S.

answers from San Diego on

Okay--so I'm the total traditionalist with all of the vaccines happening exactly on schedule--but I also have a kiddo who needed a lot of surgeries--and there was no way he was going into OR without as much stuff going for him as possible! HOWEVER---one of my best friends on earth is using that delayed shot schedule--getting on average I believe 1 shot/month for the first year. And a lot of people are not getting the MMR at 1 yr.--but a friend's kiddo ended up in the hospital at 15 months and EVERYONE--dr.s, nurses and her---totally regretted not getting that shot. My friend's biggest concern was having the body fight all of those antibodies at one time--so spreading them out over time would avoid that. She swears by it and she's done it with each of her 3 kids. So the bottom line is the kiddos got all of their shots--but just at different month ranges than like my son who did it all at once (with zero negative effects, btw). Good luck! Whatever you choose will be right for you.

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L.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear R., I'm so glad you asked this question - we have an 11 week old daughter and, like you, are splitting up her vaccines, so I am reading all the responses you've received - my husband is adamant about vaccinations and I question the necessecity, so now there is lots of info for both of us to sift through. Thank you so much for posting your question on mamasource!

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear R.,
I have a 1 month old and am currently looking into an alternative vaccincation schedule. I'm in Switzerland temporarily though so I have added problems with the different kinds of vaccinations available - however, I highly recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears, a southern California pediatrician. He does a very good job at explaining what each vaccine contains, describes the diseases it works against, and provides a very balanced view. He does also present an alternative vaccination schedule at the end. The website is www.TheVaccineBook.com.
I'm working at the World Health Organization and definitely believe in the vaccines, I would just like to take a more cautious route and spread them out a bit. Good luck.
L.
[email protected]____.com

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E.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.. I can't tell you what to do because ultimately, it's your decision to do what you think is best for your child. I can tell you what we've done. I have 2 baby girls (2.5 yrs and 14 months) and neither one has been vaccinated, ever. We believe (and we've done tons of research) that vaccinating babies with so much dosage at such a period of time will harm them more than they will protect them. In fact, we don't believe it will protect them at all, unlike what the "normal" medical community will say. We believe it will only cause them to be sicker adults. Their immune system has not even fully developed yet and still we are supposed to inject these foreign things into their bodies? NOw, we're not saying we are never going to vaccinate. We will but when they're older, when their immune system has fully developed. I grew up in the Philippines, a Third World country, and I was not vaccinated until I was 7 years old. In Japan, they used to not vaccinate children until they are 2 years old. But, because the pharmaceutical companies are very rich (in terms of money) and have very strong political advocates, medical doctors are being taken out to expensive dinners and such by them just so the vaccinations and drugs are pushed down the public's throats, no matter if it's for the children's benefit or not. It's all about money, and unfortunately, our children suffers for it. We believe vaccinations are one of the causes of the rise in autism. Autism rates were 1 in 1000 just 5 years ago. Now, it's 1 out of 60 children. We, as parents, need to question things that don't make sense. I commend you for doing so. But, like I said, I'm a Mom too, and we just have to do what we think is best for our own children. I'm not judging those that go the regular route, just like I ask not to be judged for going the unconventional route. But, I would urge everyone to think more about the stuff that are being pushed down our throats and question things for our children's sake. Whatever you decide, it'll be for your family's best interest. Good luck!

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C.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R.-
I don't know to much, but understand and appreciate your concern.
I am in the same boat.
I think spreading them out is VERY important.
Have you looked into Dr. Sears schedule?
I tend to be more on the alternative side of health and like Dr Jay Gordon as well.
But I think look into Dr Sears books, he has LOTS of info.
Good luck,
C.
Mommy of 8 month old Isabella.

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T.J.

answers from San Diego on

I recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. He gives a very unbiased look at the pros and cons of each vaccination (and brands) including listing ones highest and lowest in aluminum or which ones still have mercury in them.

Personally, I chose to delay vaccinating my two children they are now 1.5 and 2.5. I will probably selectively vax before and during the preschool years. His book was very helpful in learning which vaccines are the most important as far as risk level of getting the disease and complications if they got the disease.

I am a Health Education Professor so it was surprising to me that I chose to delay knowing how beneficial vaccination is. But, aftering reading the research I felt there may be something we are missing as far as the health implications of so many vaccinations. This uncertainty sort of paralyzed me in making any decision until I learned a little more. My doctors were not supportive but they didn't hassle me regarding my decision. My advice: educate yourself and go with your knowledge and maternal instinct.

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