Vaccinnations: Current Schedule and Your Choices
Vaccines were first created in 1796 for the smallpox virus and have exponentially grown in number since. A vaccination is administered in an effort to stimulate the body’s immune system to develop immunity to a known pathogen1. This process is typically done with an injection directly into the blood stream, therefore bypassing the first two lines of defense of our natural immune system. Without activating the first two lines of defense memory B-cells are not created and therefore this created immunity is temporary. Through research scientists have found an average length of time each vaccine is effective, thus creating booster shots or multiple doses of the same vaccine.
Vaccinating your children is a personal decision, but it should also be an informed decision. I hear many patients state “I am fully vaccinated, and I am just fine.” This is an argument that brings up a very important point about how the immunization schedule has changed over the years. In 1983, when many of the parents today were born, the schedule for immunizations was:
Ages of Doses:
|Diphtheria & Tetanus & Pertussis (DTP)||Dose 1: 2mo, Dose 2: 4mo, Dose 3: 6mo, Dose 4: 18mo, Dose 5: 4-6yr|
|Oral, attenuated poliovirus types 1, 2, & 3 (OPV)||Dose 1: 2mo, Dose 2: 4mo, Dose 3: 18mo, Dose 4: 4-6yr|
|Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)||Dose 1: 15mo|
|Adult Tetanus & Diphtheria (Td)||Dose 1: 14-16yr|
This is a total of five vaccines before the age of one year2. Fast forward to 2014, as many of the 1983 children are having children of their own. The CDC’s vaccine schedule for children today is a total of 25 vaccines before the age of one year3. The schedule is:
Ages of Doses:
|Hepatitis B (HepB)||Dose 1: Birth, Dose 2: 1-2mo, Dose 3: 6mo-18mo|
|Rotavirus (RV)||Dose 1: 2mo, Dose 2: 4mo, Dose 3: 6mo|
|Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP)||Dose 1: 2Mo, Dose 2:4mo, Dose 3: 6mo, Dose 4: 15-18mo, Dose 5: 4-6yr|
|Haemophilus influenza B (Hib)||Dose 1: 2mo, Dose 2: 4mo, Dose 3: 6mo, Dose 3 or 4: 12mo-15mo|
|Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13)||Dose 1: 2mo, Dose 2: 4mo, Dose 3: 6mo, Dose 4: 12-15mo|
|Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV)||Dose 1: 2mo, Dose 2: 4mo, Dose 3: 6-18mo, Dose 4: 4-6yr|
|Tetanus, Diphtheria, & Pertussis (Tdap)||Dose 1: 11-12yr|
|Influenza||Annually after 6mo|
|Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR)||Dose 1:12-15mo, Dose 2: 4-6yr|
|Varicella (VAR)||Dose 1: 12-15mo, Dose 2: 4-6yr|
|Hepatitis A (HepA)||Dose 1 & 2: 12-23mo|
|HPV2 – femalesHPV4 – Both||Dose 1, 2, & 3: 11-12yr|
|Meningococcal||Dose 1: 11-12yr, Dose 2: 16-18yr|
Colorado is one of the few states that allow all three different exceptions for vaccinations: medical, religious, and personal4. A medical exception is done by your physician due to a physical condition that is contraindicated for have the immunization. A religious exception is done when the religious views are opposed to the vaccination. Both medical and religious are rare and difficult to acquire, but the personal is for anyone else. The personal exemption is done when the parent would like to choose which vaccinations to have and which ones to opt-out of or is opposed to vaccinations in general.
The choice to vaccinate your child is personal choice and can depend on many different things. This can include age of the child, number of vaccinations done in a year, how many are done in one sitting, or the immunity of your child. This decision is vital for the health and wellbeing of your child and should never be done without proper information. You have to be your own advocate and do the research about the vaccination and the process by which it is administered, in order to make an educated decision for your child.
For a list of books, journals & magazines, organizations and websites that provide additional resources for obtaining information about vaccination, acute and chronic childhood diseases, holistic health alternatives for maintaining wellness and other information please visit www.nvic.org/resource-center.aspx. The National Vaccine Information Center encourages all visitors to this website to gather additional information on diseases and vaccines and consult one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination or other health care decision5.
Whether your decision is to fully vaccinate your child, partially vaccinate your child, or to opt-out of all vaccinations, the choice needs to be an informed decision. Take the time to read about the vaccine itself, the disease it is protecting your child from, and the ways your child can contract the disease. For example, the hepatitis B virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids of chronic carriers6. Is your infant going to be exposed to hepatitis B? If the answer is no, then why does your baby need the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth?
Start your research today because the health of your child depends on you.
- Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination.
- Generation Rescue. Alternative Schedule #1: Turn Back the Clock. http://www.generationrescue.org/assets/Documents/Vaccination-Schedule1983.pdf.
- Vaccination Schedule 2014. CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html.
- State Vaccination Laws. Colorado. http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/colorado.aspx.
- Resource Center. http://www.nvic.org/resource-center.aspx.
- Hepatitis B. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatitis_B.
March 5th, 2014