Thursday, July 17, 2008

Routine Vaccination?

I guess it's time for an editorial...
Sometimes people actually ask me. So, my view on vaccines is pretty well summed up here. I agree with Dr. Sears that the CDC and AAP schedule should be more flexible. They have continually added recommendations to those already in place to avoid missing kids who might not come back for another visit. In the past, multiple vaccines given together did not cause significant problems - at least with most children. But, we have many more vaccines now and we might be putting these kids on overload.

I feel it is better to spread them out a bit, give their little immune systems a chance and to decide about the risks and benefits of each vaccine individually, including whether or not it might be better delayed. Believe me, I am not anti-vaccine. I believe immunizations have made a phenomenal difference in our lives and health. I definitely do not agree with people who say the diseases would have gone away on their own anyway... NOT!!!

Vaccines are good, but perhaps not the panacea we would like them to be. Of course our hope is that one day we can have vaccines to prevent cancer, STDs, etc. but it will probably not be that simple, and lifestyle choices will also have to be modified. Even knowing that smoking causes cancer, how many still do it? Of course they would love a vaccine that prevents lung cancer in spite of their smoking habit.... and I'd love one that allowed me to eat anything I want without gaining weight or clogging my arteries.

But, like many other good things - we must recognize there can be a downside and adding new vaccines to an old schedule may not be wise, even if it is convenient and cost-effective. This recommendation does put more responsibility on the parents to discuss the issue with the pediatrician, arrange for more visits, more copays, etc.

I believe that if an answer to what causes ASD (autism spectrum disorders) is ever found, the answer will be a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental pollutants and other exposures. These kids are wired differently and they don't respond to many stimulants in the same way their "neurotypical" peers do, so why might they not react differently to vaccines? Makes sense to me. This is probably also true of many other conditions we don't yet understand. It's easy enough to alter the schedule and individualize the needs.

You can read the article by clicking on the post title if you like.


  1. I agree. Anyway, this is an area where I would totally trust your judgment with the experience you have with your job, as well as having grandchildren with ASD. My girls did fine with theirs for the most part, and I am all for vaccinating. But I have wondered if it's good to keep adding so many together in one shot. It would be a horrible thing to just stop vaccinations. Good topic today!

  2. PS: How about a new blog devoted to just the cute things your grandkids say? Then you could link to that blog from this one and keep it current. Just an idea! There's probably other things you could do -- with rolling RSS feeds, whatever the heck those are!

  3. Thanks Ashli,
    I'm trying to learn how to blog better, using the breakout segments. Hopefully I can get time and figure it out because this is a great idea.


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