4.28.2008

More on Vaccines

My mom's group has been buzzing again lately about vaccines. A friend of mine mentioned that her doctor gave her a hard time about delaying vaccines to space them out a bit. The doctor's response to her request was to have her sign a waiver and comment, "So that when you come in here when your son comes down with meningitis our insurance company doesn't wonder what we're doing." Apparently the practice is known for telling moms not to believe everything they read in the media.

Really, is this your response? Is this what a new parent of a two-month old needs to hear from her child's pediatrician? No mom wants to be bullied into anything they do related to their child, especially by their pediatrician.

The argument about vaccines and autism may be waning a bit, but some moms are starting to request vaccines be spaced out. [Translation: Baby may not need to have all shots at one visit.] Perhaps giving three at one visit and three more later would better suit a parent and a child. While I know that a pediatrician should know what's best in the kid's medical world, Dr. Sears, a leading expert on 'many things baby' and author of The Vaccine Book, even admits that doctors are not well versed in this subject. They simply pass along what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports to them.

I'm not trying to bad mouth my doctor, because in truth, I love my doctor's office. (Plug for Farrell Pediatrics.) But I will even admit they sometimes can be pushy on the vaccines. They have been more than willing to agree, without a grudge, on my own schedule. (My son's schedule is included in the comments section.) Here is the current AAP schedule:

Birth - Hep B
1 month - Hep B
2 months - DTaP, HIB, Pc, Rotavirus, Polio
4 months - DTaP HIB, Pc, Rotavirus, Polio
6 months - DTaP, HIB, Pc, Rotavirus, Hep B, Flu (if in season)
1 year - MMR, Chickenpox, Hep A
15 months - HIB, Pc
18 months - DTaP, Polio, Hep A, Flu (if in season)
2 years - Flu
3 years - Flu
4 years - Flu
5 years - DTaP, Polio, MMR, Chickenpox, Flu

I will tell you right now we didn't follow this schedule with either of our kids. We were living overseas at the time and the vaccinations were given out at the embassy. After talking to the nurse there, decided we would space it out since it only meant a trip into the embassy. My kids never got more than three at one time and never had much of a reaction to anything. I'm not sure if it was a connection or not.

Now, when my son went to his four year visit, they told me he needed FOUR shots. Do you see four shots on this list at four years? No...I had already researched this prior to my visit. I decided we would give Alex the Polio vaccine at his appointment and spread out the rest until he starts kindergarten, which is the requirement (unless you sign a waiver.) One of the doctor's in the practice did say felt it wasn't necessary to space them out, but couldn't explain why. She agreed to do whatever I felt comfortable with and said her main goal was to get kids vaccinated. If moms want to do it on their own schedule, that was their choice and they were fine to support it. Not the best answer, but one that works for me.

But knowing this now, I will probably opt to get Anna caught up on her boosters starting at her three-year appointment so we're ahead of the game.

I'm not sure the link between what the AAP says and what doctors have to quote. Three years ago, AAP said no bottles after a year, and my doctors came down hard on me about that. Now, they are a bit more lenient and say up to 16 months. The numbers and the data on everything from breastfeeding to solid foods and bottles to pacifiers changes all the time. Isn't it quite possible things will change even for the number of shots during one doctor's visit?

6 comments:

Ariel said...

Can I ask what you've had to do in regards to preschools since the kids are not quite caught up yet? Did you have to fill out the "religious exemption" form, or was the school okay with the kids not being quite on schedule?

purplemommy said...

I don't understand why he needed the four shots at his four year. When Max was four, they told me I could do the "Kindergardner" shots then or wait til he was five when he would be entering school. And I go to the same office as you do. I opted to wait until he was five. Nothing more said.

Linda said...

The two preschools didn't seem to care that my kids were missing chickenpox when they started. I didn't fill anything out. They just put down what vaccines and that was it as far as I know.

Tara said...

Do you have a "rough" list of when you gave your children vaccines? For instance, which vaccine you gave at what month? This would be very helpful to me.

Linda said...

Here was the schedule for my son. :
Birth-Hep B
2 months-Hep B, Polio
2 months + 2 weeks-DTaP, Hib, Prevnar (Pc)
4 months-Prevnar (Pc), Polio
4 months + 3 weeks-DTap, Hib
6 months-DTaP, Hib, Hep B
9 months-Prevnar (Pc), Polio
13 months-Hib, Prevnar (Pc)
18 months-MMR, DTap
3 years-Chickenpox

Hope that helps.

Tara said...

Thank you very much!