Are 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?
The hospital stays seem generalized. We vax on schedule but we (my son more than my daughter) has had a couple trips to the ER that were injury related to being sick at all. I would like to know the specifics more.
Was the survey done in such a manner that they were asked about ANY hospital/ER stays, at all, or specifically for illness?
For illness, we were admitted once for pneumonia and complications from it.
The outpatient dr visits could be skewed too--how many new parents (myself included!) have taken their little one in for a virus or a fever because, well, we didn't know what to do?
The only thing I am taking away from this article is that more parents are selectively vaxing or delaying.
by StarleetJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:47 AM
We have been delaying them this time and she has barely been sick thankfully.
by hizwifieJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM
with the number of vaccines increasing every year, it's no wonder parents are skeptical...no 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...
We no longer vaccinate.
We did in the past and who knows what the future holds but for today. We've done innumerable hours of research and studying and are confident in our choice to not vaccinate. It was absolutely not done out of fear. It was decided based on knowledge.
One more thing I am curious about. Maybe someone who delays can answer for me? How is it possible to have fewer dr's visits by delaying shots? How does it work? I imagined that delaying means you do a shot or two at a time, wait a few days, and then return? Idk if that would fall under an outpatient visit or as a well visit pertaining to this article.
by Nicki1995January 25, 2013 at 9:37 AM
I vaccinate on time. I think the child's immune system is what determines the hospital or doctor visits they will end up needing. I dont really think vaccinating has much to do with that, you know?
I, personally, do not start vaccinating until my children are 3-4 years old and their immune system has time to work on its own so it can deal with the vaccinations. When I do get them vaccinated, they are spread out. One vaccine at a time. Not this combo crap. Yes it takes a while, but its what I feel is best. Their doctor totally understands, as she has done that with her kids. Shes very helpful and makes it so much easier to spread them out over a year time instead of getting them all done in a few months.