Most parents vaccinate their kids according to the recommended immunization schedule.
They know that’s the best way to keep them protected.
Do Kids Really Get 72 Doses of Vaccines?
Do they get their kids 72 doses of vaccines?
That sounds like a lot…
Kids today do routinely get:
- 13 vaccines, including 5 doses of DTaP, 4 doses of IPV (polio), 3 or 4 doses of hepatitis B, 3 or 4 doses of Hib (the number of doses depends on the vaccine brand used), 4 doses of Prevnar, 2 or 3 doses of rotavirus (the number of doses depends on the vaccine brand used), 2 doses of MMR, 2 doses of Varivax (chicken pox), 2 doses of hepatitis A, 1 doses of Tdap, 2 or 3 doses of HPV (the number of doses depends on the age you start the vaccine series), 2 doses of MCV4 (meningococcal vaccine), and yearly influenza vaccines
- protection against 16 vaccine-preventable diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal disease, HPV, rotavirus, Hib, and flu
- about 28 doses of those vaccines by age two years (with yearly flu shots)
- about 35 doses of those vaccines by age five years (with yearly flu shots)
- as few as 23 individual shots by age five years if your child is getting combination vaccines, like Pediarix or Pentacel and Kinrix or Quadracel and Proquad
- about 54 doses of those vaccines by age 18 years, with a third of that coming from yearly flu vaccines
How do you get a number like 72?
You can boost your count to make it look scarier by counting the DTaP, MMR, and Tdap vaccines as three separate vaccines each, even though they aren’t available as individual vaccines anymore.
This trick of anti-vaccine math quickly turns these 8 shots into “24 doses.”
It’s not a coincidence.
Anti-vaccine folks want to scare you into thinking that vaccines are full of toxins, that kids get too many vaccines, that we give many more vaccines than other countries, and that this is causing our kids to get sick.
None of it is true.
At age four years, when your preschooler routinely gets their DTaP, IPV, MMR, and chicken pox shots before starting kindergarten, how many vaccines or doses do you think they got?
Two, because they got Kinrix or Quadracel (DTaP/IPV combo) and Proquad (MMR/chickenpox combo)? Four, because they got separate shots? Or Eight, because you think you should count each component of each vaccine separately?
Know that even if you do want to count them separately, it really just means that with those two or four shots, your child got protection against eight different vaccine-preventable diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox.
And remember that vaccine-preventable diseases have not disappeared, something that the “72 doses” sites don’t ever warn you about.
What to Know About Anti-Vaccine Math
Many websites use anti-vaccine math to inflate vaccine dose numbers and scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
More on Anti-Vaccine Math
- Learn the Risks of Falling for Anti-Vaccine Propaganda
- Recognizing Old Vaccine Scars
- Why Didn’t Everyone Die with Our 1980s Level of Vaccination Rates
- How Many Vaccines Did Kids Get in the 1950s?
- How Many Vaccines Did Kids Get in the 1960s?
- Four Generations of Vaccines and Vaccine Preventable Diseases
- The History of Vaccine Exemptions
- Vaccine Schedules from the 1940s to 2019
- 69 Doses…or Is It 53? Or Even Fewer?
- 69 Doses and Matters of Trust
- The difference between being antivaccine and “pro-safe vaccine,” explained using J.B. Handley
- Immunization Schedule with Combination Vaccines
- Study – Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?
- Too Many, Too Soon
- Vaccines 101: Too Much Too Soon?
- Vaccines – Too Few, Too Late
- Too Many, Too Soon?
- Why are there so many reports of autism following vaccination? A mathematical assessment
- The dumpster dives and fuzzy math of RFK Jr. and friends
- The Toxin Gambit Part 2: Polysorbate 80 and a Maths Fail
- Of Maths and Measles
- Dr. Jay’s Magical Math
- Anti-vaccine statistics – back to simple math again
- Vaccine statistics – scare tactics and bad math don’t fool anyone
- Remembering The Pre-Vaccine Era: The Diseases of Childhood
- Evaluating Vaccines Requires Critical Thinking