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Half of Babies Are on a Slower Vaccination Schedule – Should Yours Be?
January 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Half of Babies Are on a Slower Vaccination Schedule – Should Yours Be?

Posted by Adriana Velez on January 23, 2013 

baby doctorAre you delaying vaccinations for your baby? If so, you're part of a growing trend. Vaccination delay (not following the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended schedule), or under-vaccination, is something parents are doing more and more lately. It seems like we want more say in our kids' vaccination schedules, and we want those schedules to slow the hell down.

A recent study took a look at the under-vaccination trend and confirmed that it's building momentum. Nearly half of the 300,000 children in the study were under-vaccinated by at least one day by the time they reached their second birthday. What's especially interesting is that the study looked at children who were under-vaccinated because the parents chose that, and children who were under-vaccinated for any reason.

So there's the major finding that under-vaccination is a growing trend, the study also looked at what kinds of visits these babies had while they were under-vaccinated.

  • Under-vaccinated children do fewer outpatient visits than on-schedule kids. (This means visits to clinics, doctors' offices, and short hospital appointments.)
  • Under-vaccinated children have more inpatient visits than on-schedule kids. (This means hospital stays.)
  • Children who are under-vaccinated because of parental choice do fewer outpatient visits and have fewer emergency encounters.

In other words, under-vaccinated kids go longer between doctors' visits. But here's the worrying part -- under-immunized babies also check into the hospital more often. Other studies show that children who don't get vaccinations at all are nine times more likely to get chicken pox and 23 times more likely to get whopping cough than immunized kids.

So there you go -- some information to mull over while you decide whether you want to follow the ACIP schedule or an alternative schedule -- or none at all. Every parent who made a decision about this has their unique story to tell. My son followed the ACIP schedule (more or less) and has never needed a hospital stay. But that's just my story. We're all a special case and you can't generalize from one person's experience. All I know is, I'm glad I never had to check my baby into the hospital.

And if I had to do it all over again, I might delay the schedule for my child just a little bit more, but I'd still do all those immunizations pretty much on schedule. Except that chicken pox! Damn you, chicken pox vaccine. I had the chicken pox when I was five and I was just fine. Oops -- there I go, generalizing from my unique experience.

Have you chosen to delay vaccinations? Why or why not?


  • alexsmomaubrys2
    January 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    We used a slower vaccine schedule. They still get it all but at a more reasonable dosage rate.

  • emmy526
    by emmy526
    January 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    with the number of vaccines increasing every year, it's no wonder parents are safety studies are available readily to parents, they're just expected to trust and obey the dr despite lack of evidence it is safe to administer combo vaccines...

  • PinkButterfly66
    January 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I staggered vaccines.  I allowed only one vaccine per visit and rescheduled a few months later for the other vaccine.  I would not allow my daughter to get more than one at a time, it drove the nurses crazy but I didn't care.  I wasn't looking for convenience, I was trying not to overwhelm my daughter's immune system by getting too many vaccines.  

    She's never been to the hospital, except for er visits for ear infection, dislocated knee and croup when she was 4.

  • JTE11
    by JTE11
    January 24, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    DD had huge reactions after the numerous four-month shots so after that I made a rule that she wasn't to get more than two single shots or one multi-shot (like MMR) in one doctor's visit. It made for a few extra trips to the pediatrician but DD reacted much better afterward. She's almost two now and is on schedule but didn't get them all exactly when the pediatrician had originally planned. The thing is, some of them have time frames that are considered optimal windows for getting second and third doses of certain vaccinations, so you have to be careful you stay within them but since they are windows and not definite dates you do have some leeway. We did move shots around, but still stayed within the recommended windows.  It can be done. Oh, and she's only ever had one ear infection and a couple of colds because we take her to daycare every so often.

  • rmgriffberg
    January 24, 2013 at 7:55 PM

     i would like to know what they are basing the whooping cough statistic seeing as how with this last outbreak most of the kids who got it were vaccinated

  • BethanyJ
    January 25, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    I selectively vaccinate.   I've looked at the evidence from all sides feel it's the best choice.  My feelings about immunization are mixed to begin with; I think the science is sound but the side effects are understated, even grossly so in some cases. 

  • OHgirlinCA
    January 25, 2013 at 12:15 AM
    My children have all been vaccinated on time and on schedule without any issues or adverse side effects. I think as long as the children are getting vaccinated, delaying or staggering the vaccinations isn't a big deal.
  • frogbender
    January 25, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    I have not delayed and my 5 year old has only been to the outpatient twice in her life and never hospitalized. She also has no health issues whatsoever, other than picking up the occasional cold when we visit indoor play areas.

  • ZsMommy
    by ZsMommy
    January 25, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    If I had the choice to do it over-I would have delayed/spread out the vax.

  • AmiJanell
    January 25, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    We are delaying some vaccinations that aren't highly important in the first year of life (ex Hepatitis) we are also spacing them out.... our daughter is nearly 5 months and has had just 3 vaccinations so far... we are doing it this way primarily because of the way our son responded to the multiple vaccines, he was cranky and not himself for several days, up to a week after his shots... it was just too much for his little body.

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