Vaccination: Get All Shots Together or Spread Them Apart?

Updated on January 14, 2009
S.B. asks from Los Angeles, CA
9 answers

I have a 4 1/2 month old son. For his vaccines at 2 months, we spread them apart over 2 weeks and he was fine, fussy for a day or two, but not too bad. At his 4 month check up last week, he got one of his shots, (2 remaining) and I was planning on going back two more times to complete the series. However, last week when he got the first shot, he developed a mild fever (which is expected) but he was fussy for about 4 days! I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing by having him go through this 2 more times. Maybe I should do them all together and get it over with so he is not miserable again for the rest of the week, and then again several days next week?! On the other hand, I'm concerned about putting so many viruses and bacterias in him all at once. I've heard and read about the concerns as it relates to so many vaccines and autisma.
I just can't decide what to do. Initially when my husband and I had the discussion, I wanted to spread them a part, but he didn't. Finally, we agreed that as long as he gets all his shots my husband would be okay with me spreading them a part.
What are your thoughts? Was your child fussy for several days after each shot? What did you do? Spread them a part, or all together?

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,

It is a hard decision. I have a 4 and 6 year old and have not vaccinated. My doctor, Jay Gordon, would say that medicine is the best poison out there, so even antibiotics should be taken as little as possible. My kids are never sick (sick enough for a dr. visit). My son, at 4, has NEVER been to the doctor for a sick visit. I gave my daughter one vaccine at 2 and she was sick twice in a row the following months and put on antibiotics. I did not vaccinate again, and she too has only been to the doctor for yearly well baby visits. The chemicals and bacteria in the vaccines can throw off their bodies in many other ways. I was diagnosed with MS when I was 29 and since it is not a contagious or inherited disease, I question if the ingredients of vaccines opened my body up to it. I will vaccinate my kids later when their bodies are stronger and ONLY for those that are absoluetly necessary. Also see for more vaccine information. I will say that either way, it is a scary decision.

Good luck,

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answers from Los Angeles on

Dear S.,

I spread the vaccinations by splitting them in half and going every month instead of every other month. The controversial shots are the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) which in my opinion should definitely be spread apart. There may be nothing to the whole Autism connection (as most children get diagnosed at the time the shots are administered), but what if there is? Its a small adjustment to make on the chance that it may lower the risk, if there is one.

Some of the vaccines are live viruses, and some are dead ones. You can always group live ones with a couple of dead ones. The live viruses are the ones that tend to bring a small fever.

Either way, just make sure to get the vaccinations as you already are.

The only other thing I recommend is that you only get single dose vaccinations for a child. Flu shots tend to come in large vials. For larger volume vaccinations where multiple needle entries are made into the vile, a preservative must be used. In the past this preservative was the mercury you have undoubtedly heard about, which has supposedly been phased out. Its hard to know if you have that type of batch though, so just always insist on seeing the single dose vials.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,

First of all, you should understand that vaccines not not contain live viruses or bacteria. If they did, you would be giving your child the actual disease. Vaccines are created from either the whole killed organism, or from proteins isolated from the bacterial outer membrane or viral envelope or capsid that are the recognized by the immune system.

The immune system works in two primary ways. When a pathogenic organism is recognized by the immune system, the body first produces B-cells that make IgM. These immunoglobulins are responsible for the first response to the disease. As the disease progresses, a new colony of B-cells is made that produce IgG. This is the type of immunoglobulin/cell that creates immunological memory of a disease. If the organism invades again, the presence of IgG-bearing B-cells allows the body to recognize and kill the invading organism much sooner than the first time around so that, in most cases, active disease never breaks out. The role of vaccines is to prime the body to make IgG-bearing B-cells, so that if you're every exposed to the pathogen itself you will not get sick.

Every pathogen stimulates the production of a specific clone of B-cells, so every immune response is, in a way, unique. The body is perfectly capable of fighting many invading organisms at a time (it does so constantly and we're rarely aware of it) and the response is not necessarily additive. In general, there's no reason to spread vaccinations apart that are usually grouped together. However, everyone is different and some kids really do have a stronger inflammation response (most of what you're seeing) than others do and might feel a bit sicker than others when receiving multiple vaccines. Talk to your doctor and trust your instincts and previous observations.

Because I feel very strongly about the risks people are exposing their children and the rest of the population to by NOT vaccinating, what follows is a repost of something I posted to a similar question last week:

There has been an ongoing movement by some to avoid vaccination in their children because of concerns of autism disorder, particularly surrounding the measles-mumps-rubella immunization (MMR). As a medical writing professional specializing in infectious disease, I can tell you that this attitude causes considerable alarm and concern within the medical community. These diseases are NOT innocuous. Before the development of these and other vaccines, tens of thousands of children would suffer grave consequences or die from these illnesses every year (far, far more that the less than 1/1000th% who react unfavorably to the vaccines). Complications of measles can include pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis, blindness, hearing loss and even death. Complications of mumps include pancreatitis, encephalitis, meningitis, and hearing loss.

Rubella is mild in children, but if a nonimmune pregnant women comes in contact with a contagious child, particularly in the first trimester, 100% of fetuses will be infected and can suffer severe birth defects that include heart and central nervous system damage, cataracts, deafness, and miscarriage (about 20% of the cases). Of these infected individuals, only 1/3 will be able to lead independent adult lives. Another 1/3 will live with their parents and another 1/3 will be so severely disabled that they will require institutionalizaion. The pregnant woman may or may not develop the disease herself, so she may not even know that her child is at risk. Approximately 5 - 10% of pregant women in this country do not have immunity against rubella.

One of the reasons we rarely see the misery that these and other diseases for which we immunize can cause is because their incidence is now very low because of universal immunization programs. This is why developing countries are working so hard to develop cost-effective universal programs to counter high rates of infant and childhood mortality. Both the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization) emphasize the importance of childhood vaccination programs and adult vaccinations for those who either did not receive vaccinations in childhood, in whom the vaccination didn't "take", or in whom immunity has waned (this is more common with those who have been vaccinated than have become naturally immune).

In addition to the protection vaccinations offer directly, there is also what we call the "herd effect" of vaccination. If the vaccinated percentage of the population is high enough (usually > 90%), this is protective for those individuals who are not or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, such as those who have had bad reactions to a first vaccine, have childhood cancers, are immune-suppressed (such as patients with HIV and bone marrow or solid organ transplant patients), or are pregnant. As an example, the incidence of Rubella has dropped so low because of successful immunization programs in the US that it was been declared by the CDC in 2005 to no longer be a health threat (see There is a goal in the americas of eradicating rubella through immunization by 2010. In 2007, we had reached > 95% immunization in the US, BUT if that trend reverses we run the risk of Rubella resurgence.

Finally, as to the concern about vaccinations themselves, I would urge people to not take their information from popular magazines but to get it from reputable sources. I know that most people who are not in the science fields are less likely to be familiar with these resources, but good information can be found on easy to access websites such as,, and even Look for sites that carry the HonCode seal. This indicates that the website meets the standards of the Health on the Net organization. This is a committee composed of 60 health professionals from 11 countries and includes such notables as heart surgeon Michael DeBakey (the doctor who developed the artificial heart). You can learn more about the organization at In a search of PubMed, which is the database for the library at the National Institutes of Health, I found the following abstract of an article published in 2006 in the Candian Journal of Neurological Science:

Immunizations and autism: a review of the literature.

Doja A, Roberts W.
Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Because of a temporal correlation between the first notable signs and symptoms of autism and the routine childhood vaccination schedule, many parents have become increasingly concerned regarding the possible etiologic role vaccines may play in the development of autism. In particular, some have suggested an association between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism. Our literature review found very few studies supporting this theory, with the overwhelming majority showing no causal association between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism. The vaccine preservative thimerosal has alternatively been hypothesized to have a possible causal role in autism. Again, no convincing evidence was found to support this claim, nor for the use of chelation therapy in autism. With decreasing uptake of immunizations in children and the inevitable occurrence of measles outbreaks, it is important that clinicians be aware of the literature concerning vaccinations and autism so that they may have informed discussions with parents and caregivers.

PMID: 17168158 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I would love to think that this might put this issue to bed, at least on this website, but I'm not that naive. There will be many who will scorn it as being a statement from someone who is entrenched in the evil medical establishment that exists only to support the pharmaceutical companies. To this I would answer, 1. I don't work for a pharma company, and 2. Before modern medicine, medications and vaccinations, up to one out of every three children died before they were 5 years old, the average life expectancy was 35 years old, debillitating birth defects were common, simple injuries could result in loss of limbs or death, and people suffered through serious diseases for months or years with little or nothing to ease their suffering and that of those who were responsible for their care.

Finally, to those who would argue that they have not vaccinated their children and they are perfectly healthy, this is to be expected, especially in this country where infectious disease prevalence is relatively low. BUT, be aware of the risk you are exposing your children to if they every travel outside the US to most developing nations – even just to Mexico or large parts of the Caribbean. This risk will be life-long for them. Also, be aware that your child will NOT be protected if there is an outbreak of any of the diseases we vaccinate for. It does still happen – several years ago there was an outbreak of Measles in several areas of the US and a number of unvaccinated children died. Vaccines do not make people healthier, only safer. You wouldn’t let your child ride in a car without a seatbelt, would you?

Best regards to all,

R. Levy, MS
Medical Writer (I work for a leading medical diagnostics company and one of my specialty areas is infectious disease)



answers from Los Angeles on

I recommend the book WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT CHILDREN'S VACCINATIONS by Stephanie Cave. It includes a section on reducing vaccine risks as well as a recommended schedule. It's all about making informed decisions when it comes to vaccinating and this book has been a righteous resource for me. Hope this helps!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there, I strongly agree with your choice to vaccinate. Having lived ina third world country where kids got all sorts of preventabe dieseases, (vaccine's availabe) there is no question that kids should have their shots. There is a ton of anti vaccination literature out there. While some of it may be well researched, much of what I've read is psuedo science written by people who have their own agenda,be they religous, conspiracy minded, social engineering etc.

Do it all at once and get it over with. The bacteria/virus that you're concerned about will not hurt him, and any fussiness will pass.

Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

S., I so recommend reading and researching vaccines before continuing to vaccinate your son. (See below for my TRUTH ABOUT VACCINE DATA). My husband and I opted not to vaccinate our dazzling son, Dylan Orion, because I know too many children who had received their vaccinations and had truly adverse reactions that caused permanent and irreversible damage. Not to mention all the new links between autism and vaccinations. It's a very personal decision. I understand. All I ask is that you research it for yourself before deciding either way. Please know that I send this data with love.

LOL (Lots Of Love),
L. (MAMA to healthy and non~vaccinated 15 month old Dylan Orion.....29 September 2007). : )))


Vaccination Information


The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization (12th Edition) by Tim O’Shea.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations By Stephanie Cave, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. (pro vaccine)

Vaccines: Are They Really Safe And Effective? By Neil Miller.
The Vaccine Guide By Randall Neustaedter (non vaxer).

The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert W. Sears (gives pros and cons to all of them!! very good book!!)

Natural Family Living By Peggy O'Mara, the publisher of Mothering Magazine.


Deadly Immunity by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


Dr. Jay Gordon’s seminar at the Skirball Cultural Center – the first event in the “Well Loved Baby” series called “Vaccinations?” -


Ron Paul On Immunization Shots

Vaccines & Autism - Dr. Healy on CBS NEWS May 12 ,2008

Are vaccines to blame for infant deaths?


Websites: - lists all the ingredients in vaccines - state exemption laws (where also is found an online, searchable version of the VAERS database. Just have a look at what that thing is saying about the Hepatitis B vaccine! ) (the vaccines shaded in grey are no longer produced)

* Vaccines contain a stew of mercury and other dangerous components, weakening and damaging the immune, nuerological and endocrine systems

* Vaccines carry huge risks for everyone who has been vaccinated

* Vaccines’ positive impact on human health is small or absent

* Vaccines do not prevent, may actually encourage epidemics



answers from Los Angeles on

Our daughter is 11 months old - we've spread her vaccinations out - her 14 month cousin gets his all at onced - our daughter doesn't mind going to the doctor - he hates it - they both have mellow personalities, both have done everything early like flip overf, crawl and walk (yes, my daugher has been walking for a couple of weeks) I think so many shots all at once have been really hard on her cousin and I like that her pediatrician sees my daughter more often. She has had reactions twice, and I'm glad to have narrowed it down. Good luck and congratulations. I can't believe how fun being a mom is!



answers from Los Angeles on

I would spread them out. If the vaccines are making him sick..don't put him over the edge. Go with your gut. My little guy is 19 months and I wont get near him with a vaccination till he is 2. But this is just me. AND he has been to Brazil twice and has been sick once. I would also recommend the book by Stephanie Cave about vaccines that was mentioned above.

Take care, I know it's a tough decision for some!



answers from Los Angeles on

hi S.
i have an 4 year old and an 18 month old. my youngest has not been vaccinated at all and my four year old waited till he was two and a half for the first shot and the second came at 3 and a half. unfortunatly, my son had a reaction to the second. i will not vaccinate any longer. the additives in vaccines (and yes there still is thimerisol in them) and preservatives are neurotoxins!! check out the book "evidence of harm". good luck on your decision.

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