What about the alternative vaccine schedules that some folks push?
Is there any evidence that is safe to delay or skip any of your child’s vaccines?
Alternative Vaccine Schedules
Many people think of Dr. Bob Sears when they think of alternative vaccine schedules.
He created both:
- Dr Bob’s Selective Vaccine Schedule
- Dr Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule
He didn’t invent the idea of the alternative vaccine schedule though.
Well before Dr. Bob appeared on the scene, Dr. Jay Gordon had been on Good Morning America with Cindy Crawford to discuss vaccines and how she had decided to delay vaccinating her baby.
Where did she get the idea?
After the segment, Dr. Jay stated:
“They edited the segment to make me sound like a vaccination proponent. We also have to understand the impact of a person as well-known as Cindy Crawford delaying vaccines for over six months.”
Dr. Jay has long talked about only giving infants one vaccine at a time and waiting until they are “developmentally solid” before vaccinating.
Similarly, other folks have pushed ideas about delaying and skipping vaccines before Dr. Bob, including:
- Donald Miller and his User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule – no vaccines until age two years and no live vaccines and when you begin vaccinating your child, give them one at a time, every six months (first published in 2004)
- Stephanie Cave – starts at 4 months and delays many vaccines
- homeopaths with immunization schedules that say to wait until six months and then start giving nosodes every five days
- chiropractors with immunization plans that say to get regular chiropractic adjustments instead of vaccines
- Paul Thomas‘ vaccine friendly plan
- Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue’s Turn Back the Clock immunization plan which recommends substituting the latest schedule with the 1983 immunization schedule or a schedule from another country, like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, or Iceland.
Of course, Dr. Bob is the one who popularized the idea of the alternative vaccine schedule in 2007, when he published The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child.
That’s when parents started to bring copies of his schedule into their pediatrician’s office, requesting to follow Dr. Bob’s schedule instead of the standard immunization schedule from the CDC.
What’s the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules?
There is no evidence that following an alternative vaccine schedule is safe for your kids.
“No alternative vaccine schedules have been evaluated and found to provide better safety or efficacy than the recommended schedule, supported by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC and the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the AAP (the committee that produces the Red Book).
Pediatricians who routinely recommend limiting the numbers of vaccines administered at a single visit such that vaccines are administered late are providing care that deviates from the standard evidence-based schedule recommended by these bodies.”
American Academy of Pediatrics
What’s the first clue that these so-called alternative vaccine schedules have absolutely no evidence behind them?
They are all different!
Paul Thomas, for example, doesn’t even offer his patients the rotavirus vaccine. Dr. Bob, on the other hand, has it on his list of vaccines that “that could protect a baby from a very potentially life-threatening or very common serious illness” and is sure to give it at 2, 4, and 6 months.
How slow should you go?
Both Dr. Bob and Dr. Paul give two vaccines at a time with their schedules, but Dr. Jay and Dr. Miller say to give just one at a time.
“Would any scientist give SIX vaccines at once to a baby? Asking for trouble. One at a time makes so much more sense.”
And while some start their schedules at 2 or 4 months, others delay until 6 months or 2 years.
“No one’s ever researched to see what happens if you delay vaccines. And do babies handle vaccines better when they’re older? This is really just a typical fear that parents have when their babies are young and small and more vulnerable. Since I don’t know one way or the other, I’m just happy to work with these parents, understand their fears and their worries, and agree to vaccinate them in a way that they feel is safer for their baby.”
Bob Sears on The Vaccine War
But there has been research on delaying vaccines.
Unvaccinated kids aren’t healthier – they just get more vaccine preventable diseases. Most of which are life-threatening, even in this age of modern medicine, with access to good nutrition and sanitation.
So whether you only get one or two vaccines at a time; delay until four months, six months, or two years before you get started; skip all live vaccines or just wait until your child is “developmentally solid” to give them; or go with some other non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedule, the only things that you can be sure of is that there is no evidence to support your decision and that you will leave your kids unprotected and at risk for getting a vaccine-preventable disease.
“…when I give your six-week-old seven different vaccines with two dozen antigens, I am supposed to try to convince you that the adverse reactions you have heard about are just coincidences.”
Better yet though. Find a pediatrician who will listen and answer your questions about vaccines, concerns about vaccine myths and misinformation, explain that no vaccine is optional, and not just simply pander to your fears.
What to Know About the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules
There is no evidence that skipping or delaying any vaccines with an alternative vaccine schedules can keep your kids safe from vaccine preventable diseases.
More on the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules
- The Vaccine War
- The Problem With Dr Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule
- An example of how alternate vaccine schedules endanger children
- Cashing In On Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears
- Countering Dr. Sears
- CDC – What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations?
- Delayed Schedules
- Sears and Gordon: Should Misleading Vaccine Advice Have Professional Consequences?
- Altering the Schedule
- WHO – Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide
- Dr. Anthony Fauci: Risks From Vaccines Are “Almost Nonmeasurable”
- CDC – Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999 Impact of Vaccines Universally Recommended for Children — United States, 1990-1998
- CDC – Benefits from Immunization During the Vaccines for Children Program Era — United States, 1994–2013
- Study – A risk-benefit analysis of vaccination.
- NHS – Benefits and risks of vaccination
- The Harm of Skipping Vaccinations or Delaying
- The Consequences of Refusing Vaccines
- Benefits vs. Risks
- Vaccine refusal endangers everyone, not just the unvaccinated
- Talking about Vaccines : Countering Dr. Sears
- A comprehensive takedown of Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book
- Moms Who Vax: What Middle Ground?
- Finding the Silver Lining in Delayed Vaccination
- Delaying Vaccines Not A Good Idea
- Why Delay Vaccines For Your Child?
- An example of how alternate vaccine schedules endanger children
- Getting with the Schedule : Slow-Vax to Pro-Vax
- Inventing your own vaccine schedule? Not a wise idea.
- AAP – Unvaccinated Children Accounted for Majority of Pediatric Flu Deaths from 2010-2014
- 90 percent of children who died from flu not vaccinated
- Why Is Meningitis Still Causing Deaths on U.S. College Campuses?