One-Size-Fits-All Immunization Schedule

Some people say that they are not anti-vaccine, instead they oppose our so-called one-size-fits-all vaccine policy and immunization schedule.

With so much flexibility and exemptions built into the immunization schedule though, it is wrong to call it one-size-fits-all.

For example, infants and toddlers can get their:

  • third dose of IPV and hepatitis B vaccines any time between 6 and 18 months
  • first dose of MMR and the chicken pox vaccines any time between 12 and 15 months
  • fourth dose of DTaP any time between 15 and 18 months
  • first dose of the hepatitis A vaccine any time between 12 and 23 months, getting the second dose six months after the first
  • get their “four year boosters” any time between four and six years of age

Jenny McCarthy who was one of the first to champion the one-size-fits-all argument against vaccines once said that:

Should a child with the flu receive six vaccines in one doctor visit? Should a child with a compromised immune system be treated the same way as a robust, healthy child?

It is easy to see that they don’t have to with our current immunization schedule. Your child’s pediatrician has the flexibility to temporarily delay one or more vaccines if your child has any precautions at the time of the visit, such as  a “moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever.”

There are also medical contraindications that keep some children from getting one or more vaccines on the immunization schedule. For example, children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) should not get live vaccines. They are not treated the same way as children who do not have immune system problems.

This is reaffirmed by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

The schedule is not “one size fits all.”

It is considered the ideal schedule for healthy children, but it has flexibility built in. There are established medical reasons why some children should not receive certain vaccines; for example, allergies to one or more ingredients in the vaccine, or a weakened immune system due to illness, a chronic condition, or another medical treatment. Sometimes a shot needs to be delayed for a short time, and sometimes it may need to be skipped altogether .

Your pediatrician is educated and updated about such exceptions to the immunization schedule. This is one reason your child’s complete medical history is taken at the pediatrician’s office, and why it is important for your child’s health care providers to be familiar with your child’s medical history.

Delaying or skipping one or more vaccine to create a customized alternative vaccine schedule for your child, a non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedule, isn’t safer than the immunization schedule from the CDC. It simply puts your child at greater risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.

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