Immunization Schedules from Other Countries

The latest immunization schedule from the CDC and AAP.
The latest immunization schedule from the CDC and AAP.

Why does the United States give so many more vaccines than other countries?

The easy answer might be that we want to protect kids from more vaccine-preventable diseases. Of course, it is much more complicated than that.

But why does it matter?

It still matters because Jenny McCarthy has pushed the idea that we have an ‘autism epidemic‘ in the United States because “other countries give their kids one-third as many shots as we do.”

And some folks still believe her.

They also believe anti-vaccine myths and misinformation linking giving more vaccines to having higher infant mortality rates.

Immunization Schedules from Other Countries

Which vaccines a country routinely gives often depends on the risk a diseases poses to the people that live there. For example, some countries routinely give the BCG and Japanese encephalitis vaccines, but only give the hepatitis B vaccine in high risk situations.

And while many folks still push the myth that the United States gives many more vaccines than other developed countries, you just have to look at their immunization schedules to see that it isn’t true.

Remember that in the United States, children typically get:

  • 36 doses of 10 vaccines before starting kindergarten that protect them against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases
  • at least three or four more vaccines as a preteen and teen, including a Tdap booster and vaccines to protect against HPV and meningococcal disease, plus they continue to get a yearly flu vaccine

So by age 18, that equals about 57 dosages of 14 different vaccines to protect them against 16 different vaccine-preventable diseases. While that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that 33% of those immunizations are just from your child’s yearly flu vaccine.

Immunization Schedules from Europe

How do immunization schedules from European countries differ from the United States?

Austria's immunization schedule for 2017 includes all of the same vaccines as the US schedule.
Austria’s immunization schedule for 2017 includes all of the same vaccines as the US schedule, plus the vaccine for Japanese encephalitis (if high risk).

Surprisingly, they don’t differ by that much, despite what you may have heard or read.

And in many European countries, even if you don’t get more vaccines overall, you do get more dosages at an earlier age, often with two dosages of MMR and the chicken pox vaccine by the time your child is 15 to 24 months old.

The latest immunization schedule from Germany.
The latest immunization schedule from Germany.

Some vaccines, like hepatitis A and chicken pox aren’t routine in every European country, like Iceland and Sweden, but many countries give vaccines that we don’t, like BCG and MenC. And even Iceland and Sweden have recently added the HPV vaccine to their schedule and Sweden may soon add the rotavirus vaccine too.

Immunization Schedules from Other Countries

Many countries, in addition to those in Europe, have vaccine schedules that are very similar to the one that is used in the United States.

The 2017 Immunization Schedule for South Korea includes all of the US vaccines, plus BCG and Japanese encephalitis vaccines.
The 2017 Immunization Schedule for South Korea includes all of the US vaccines, plus BCG and   Japanese encephalitis vaccines.

Just look at the immunization schedules for Australia, Canada, Israel, South Korea, or Taiwan, etc.

What about Japan? They must give fewer vaccines than we do in the United States, right? After all, aren’t they the country that banned the use of the HPV vaccine?

Although that myth is still pushed by many anti-vaccine websites, the HPV vaccine is not banned in Japan. It was removed as a vaccine that is actively recommended in 2013, but it still available and is still on the Japanese immunization schedule.

The 2016 routine and voluntary immunization schedule in Japan.
The 2016 routine and voluntary immunization schedule in Japan.

All of our other vaccines are also on the Japanese immunization schedule. In addition, they give infants the BCG and Japanese encephalitis vaccines.

What to Know About Immunization Schedules from Other Countries

Many countries use a similar immunization schedule and give the same types of vaccines as we do in the United States.

More On Immunization Schedules from Other Countries

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25 thoughts on “Immunization Schedules from Other Countries

  1. I must have been really lucky to survive the treat of all these vaccine preventable infectious diseases with just getting a fraction of the vaccines that are now on the vaccination schedule… And the same goes for everyone I grew up with, almost 60 years ago. Back then, the measles (todays merciless killer, as it’s presented to the public, especially to young parents) were just something you got through in a weeks time – kind of a little vacation from school – and then you were done with it for the rest of your life. Really amazing how easily people fall victim to the scare tactics and misinformation of big medicine and big pharma these days. What’s in vaccines? Just some water and a very small part of the ‘real’ virus or bacteria you’re getting vaccinated against. Why would you NOT vaccinate your child, especially when you ‘know’ that chances are it will die if it ever catches the measles. Talk about misinformation, lack of information and twisting the facts… I’m so sick of the sickness industry that has the nerves to call itself ‘health care’. Good luck, world, you’ll sure gonna need it!

  2. This vaccination debate is so full of shills. Let me preface what I’m about to write by stating that I don’t believe that vaccinations cause autism, and that I am fully educated in the proposed science behind vaccines. My issue with vaccines stems from: feeling that our government often does not have our best interest in mind, that its aid in keeping a favorable interest in flawed science and pharmaceutical profiteering is dangerous, and that it’s inadequate focus on real nutrition and exercise is alarming.

    Think about it. We live in a society where we are medically, thus socially, encouraged to mutilate the genitals of our infant sons. We remove various nerve endings that effect his sexual enjoyment and natural function, forever. Sometimes, it goes terribly wrong, and the poor lad is castrated. These are facts, yet we still do it. Speaking of infants, ever been in the room of an average hospital when a baby is born? It’s the saddest, most disgusting thing ever. A sterile room, and exhausted woman delivering (quite unnaturally) on her back, and an infant who is given a soy formula before he even has the chance to nurse and receive some of the most important nutrition of his (and many mammals’) life: colostrum. And suppose he grows up to be an anxious toddler, or brooding teen. A close friend of mine was given ritalin at 3 years of age, and it’s not uncommon. Children who are exceptional, sensitive, or move at their own pace, are widely considered autistic – or given some other label. There are high powered pharmaceuticals for just about everything under the sun.The government, without knowing what these things are capable of or how they really work, has a whole administration just for their approval. The FDA also tells us what is OK to eat, but anyone that has faith in today’s sense of nutrition is a fool. Anyone who believes that there is not a conspiracy targeting needy families and poor communities, is an even bigger fool.

    Now, I could go on, but do you see a pattern here? I drive by billboards stating that you can “save your child from cancer…with the HPV vaccine.” Wake up, people. We are all born with cancerous cells. Any number of things, including your genetics, can and will likely turn a dormant cancer cell into an active one. Eventually, it will happen. I have more faith in adequate exercise and nutrition being of help than a vaccine. Yet this is not the message our (and other governments) send to parents. Our society has removed common sense, logic, and holistic well being from the equation entirely. You wanna know why some “anti-vaxxers” believe in quack science regarding vaccines? It may be because they have zero faith in the information provided and the real scale of risk involved. I myself understand the science, but find the statistics that follow it flawed and simply not true. The term “vaccine-preventable death” is the most bizarre, narrow, and ridiculous thing ever. What are ALL the factors behind the death of these people? The state of their immune system? Genetics? Their personal nutrition? Nope, you can’t find this information. I’ve looked. Only that, contrary to other arguments, it happens in places with “well-nourished” populations. Get real. We, AMERICANS, alone, are not a “well-nourished” nation, and neither are many others.

    Children keep getting sicker, and it has nothing to do with vaccines – nor can a vaccine mask a huge problem. An injection is not the only way to develop antibodies. No one really knows exactly how a disease works, or cancer, or depression. Modern medicine is called a practice for a reason. Our bodies are usually more than able to develop antibodies and wellness with a proper lifestyle and nutrition.

    If vaccines are for the people and for the overall health of any given country, why are they not as mandatory as a seat belt and why are they not free?

    Case in point, I don’t trust the lack of accountability and scope in modern science and I think that there are many other ways to protect yourself and your child from disease. I don’t ignore the reality that some rare occurrence may bring someone in contact with a deadly disease. But if that happened, a vaccine is not guaranteed to save someone. It simply isn’t, I’ve researched to exhaustion. Based on my health, I’d say I’m about as threatened as the threat of dying in a plane crash.

    The day the real risks and science behind vaccines is made public and all vaccines are free….that’ll be the only day that I consider using them for myself and my offspring. Until then….

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