View Full Version : immunizations

03-27-2002, 01:23 PM
I am in the beginning stages of trying to decide what immunizations our baby will receive. I am not opposed to them, but I do think that perhaps there are too many being administered. I am having my baby without insurance, so the doctors the state provides are, I'm sure, going to encourage whole-heartedly the use of all shots. I am wondering if anyone can recommend any literature or books on the subject that are not too biased? I have tried searching on the internet, but all that seems to turn up is propaganda. I just want something that tells me what is necessary and what is really just for convenience. Thanks for the feedback!

03-27-2002, 02:57 PM
Unfortunately, unless you homeschool or have religious objections, your baby will need all the shots they recommend for entrance into school! I hate the fact that this is true as my DS(now 11) has mild cerebral palsy and mild mental retardation along ith a seizure disorder and all of these things happened AFTER his MMR immunization at 15 months old. He was completely normal at birth and throughout his first year developmentally. I honestly don't know if there is a connection, but I can't help but think there may be. If I ever decide to homeschool him, he on't get any more shots ever. My next baby WILL be homeschooled so I can choose the immunizations I am comfortable with. His pediatrician said the only way to get an exemption is if they have a religious objection(documented) or because of his seizure disorder he is not a candidate for one of the DTP combo shots(I think its Pertussis). Other than that, you gotta get all the shots or they can't go to school. At least thats how it is here in south Florida.


03-28-2002, 02:03 AM
You're right - it's hard to get info that's not pushing one side or the other.

One approach that really helped decide me was to read up on the diseases being prevented by a particular vaccine. Diphtheria is nasty, nasty, nasty, with a horribly high death rate. I hadn't known. Chicken pox, on the other hand, isn't so bad by comparison.

Likewise, you can go onto some of the respected medical-research sites (e.g. thelancet, medscape) and do research on childhood immunizations. It was there that I found out that the famous "MMR-autism" theory came out of two studies; one from a cohort of only _twelve_ children, and the second a cohort of _fifteen_ children. This, when most other studies use cohorts in the hundreds or even _thousands_ to get their data! I'm not saying that all vaccine problem theories are shaky... just that this one is. The data can help you get a feel for relative risks.

Good luck,


03-29-2002, 12:47 PM
If you want to find out what is REQUIRED do a search under your state school immunization laws. I'm in CA and I found a document that clearly states what children MUST have when starting school.

I see the benefits of most immunizations required in CA, except the HepB one.... and unfortunately it's required. I don't know if we can get away with never giving it... but I'm darn sure not giving it to him a few hours after birth.

I'm also going to insist they space out his shots (instead of 2 or more at one visit), and give them seperately vs. combo shots.

Good luck,

03-29-2002, 02:10 PM
yeah, whats up with that Hep B one?? Its spread through sex and drug needles. what infant will be involved with either one? My two oldest are middle school so i can understand the boosters they need because they didn't have the Hep B when they were babies, but I think they give way too many shots at once!

03-30-2002, 12:13 AM
You're right that Hepatitis B is spread through drugs and needles, but it's fluid-borne and very transmittable, so kids can also spread it through saliva and bites and through cuts, scrapes and other breaks in the skin.

An infant can get it from siblings, and/or infected adults, even from very innocent contact.

The big issue is that if a child DOES acquire Hepatitis B, the consequences are much nastier than if an adult gets it. A person infected in childhood:

- Has a greater risk of developing chronic hepatitis, leading to cirrhosis and liver failure,

- Has a greater risk of becoming a lifelong carrier, who has the potential to infect many people through various routes, including transmitting the virus sexually to one's spouse and to one's unborn children,

- Has a greater risk of developing liver cancer,

- Has a greater risk of developing Hepatitis D (D can only develop where B is present), which brings a bunch of other yucky lifelong complications.

I believe that everyone should make their own decisions, but I will say that I bet one reason that the health system gets in there early is that it's a lot easier to vaccinate kids young than to chase them around (administratively speaking) once they hit school age. Plus, with kids getting into day care at very early ages, the risks start really young. Infants and toddlers are lots worse than school-age kids when it comes to sharing their germs around with each other!



04-03-2002, 01:15 PM
thanks for the info, i didn't know all that!

04-04-2002, 12:25 AM
I'm glad if it helps. I share your "I don't care if it's standard policy, I want to know why you're doing it" paranoia. Too many practitioners don't bother to explain. My mother says she envies our generation for our willingness to challenge and ask questions and decide for ourselves. Keep it up!



04-05-2002, 01:08 PM
Just wanted to reco a great book - "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations", by Stephanie Cave, MD.

She's a pediatrician, and goes into the main vaccines - how they came about, benefits, reactions, the diseases they are meant to prevent, etc., brings up a few future vaccines, and gives you an alternative vax schedule to the CDC.

Definitely worth a read!

04-05-2002, 02:56 PM
The CDC website has a long article explaining the reasoning behind why particular vaccines are recommended and for the recommended intervals for vaccination. It is pretty technical, but I thought it was interesting. You can try this link http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5102a1.htm or go to http://www.cdc.gov and then click on "CDC Recommends", then click on "Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices" and then "General Recommendations on Immunizations".

Just some more food for thought. You may want to check with your insurance company (if this is applicable to you). My insurance will pay for all vaccinations when given according to the AAP and CDC guidelines. BUT if you wait and decide that later you want your child to receive a vaccination AFTER the CDC guidelines say to give it (for example, Prevnar after baby is 2 years old, a $150 vaccine) then my insurance will not pay for the vaccine at that point. It is then considered optional, not a required vaccine.

So you should make sure to educate yourself about your insurance plan if cost is a potential issue. Also, similar guidelines may be used to determine if a vaccine is "covered" if your child receives vaccinations through state or county health departments.


04-29-2002, 06:17 PM
Research what the requirements are in your state for school admittance. Someone posted that you had to follow the CDC guidelines if you wanted them to be admitted to public school. This is not the case in all states. My state not only allows religious objections, but also philosophical objections.

I agree, it is *very* hard to find unbiased (either way) information on this subject. Basically I just weigh the risks of the vaccine Vs the disease and it's prevalence in my area.

Mommy to Little Jonah