You know how anti-vaccine folks like to say that kids get too many vaccines at too early an age these days?
It’s not like the ‘good old days,’ when instead of more vaccines, they just got more diseases.
But looking at the immunization schedules from the 1950s and 1960s, you should know that folks back then got a lot more vaccine doses than you have been led to believe.
Too Many Too Soon Revisited
And you know what else? Those vaccines include the “crude brew” of DPT and smallpox, which contained far more antigens per vaccine than today’s vaccines.
By six months, these kids got the smallpox vaccine (200 antigens) and three doses of DPT (3,002 antigens), for a total of 9,206 antigens.
They could get up to about 174 antigens, including
- DTaP: 7 antigens * 3 doses = 21 antigens
- IPV: 15 antigens * 3 doses = 45 antigens
- Hib: 2 antigens * 3 doses = 6 antigens
- Prevnar13: 14 antigens * 3 doses = 42 antigens
- hepatitis B: 1 antigen * 3 doses = 3 antigens
- rotavirus: 15 antigens * 3 doses = 45 antigens
- Flu: 12 antigens * 1 dose = 12 antigens
That’s 9,032 fewer antigens or less than 2% of what they once got, even though they are protected against many more diseases!
Not worried about antigens anymore?
Just remember that in the 1950s, in addition to all of these extra antigens, except for smallpox, these vaccines were made with thimerosal and aluminum.
Not that those ingredients were dangerous then, or today. It’s just more recently that folks decided that they were scary.
But it is just important to keep in mind that it is misleading to say that kids only got 2 vaccines then, and now get 69, 72, or 74.
In fact, it’s not just misleading, it’s lying.
If you use the same anti-vaccine math, in the 1950s, they actually got at least 22 doses by age 9 or 10! And they got even more once the polio vaccine was introduced in 1955.
Anti-vaccine folks still try to downplay the number of doses of vaccines folks got back in the 1950s and 1960s though.
To scare you.
Kids do get more vaccines, but they have far fewer antigens, and more vaccines means more protection against more diseases.
In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, kids were dying of diseases that are now vaccine preventable, including rotavirus, hepatitis A and B, chicken pox, pneumococcal meningitis, epiglottitis, Hib meningitis, and meningococcal meningitis, etc.
What about the idea that all of the extra vaccine doses were added right after the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986?
Believe it or not, it was almost nine years, 1995, before a new vaccine (Varivax) was added to the immunization schedule. Others were slowly added after that, including:
- hepatitis A (1996)
- rotavirus (1998)
- Prevnar (2000)
- Menactra (2006)
- Tdap (2006)
- Gardasil (2006)
The biggest change? The one that helps boost the numbers of doses so that anti-vaccine folks can try and say that kids get 72 doses of vaccines?
That was when we started recommending flu shots for healthy kids, beginning with infants for the 2004-05 flu season. Remember, nearly a third of their list is just flu shots…
What about Hib and Hep B? They were both added right before the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
Nothing about their little anti-vaccine memes are true.
Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are necessary.
More on Too Many Too Soon Revisited
- VAXOPEDIA – How Many Vaccines Did Kids Get in the 1950s?
- VAXOPEDIA – How Many Vaccines Did Kids Get in the 1960s?
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Didn’t Everyone Die with Our 1980s Level of Vaccination Rates?
- VAXOPEDIA – A Shot at the Dark – DPT vs DTaP
- VAXOPEDIA – What Happened When Sweden Stop Using the DPT Vaccine
- VAXOPEDIA – Was SIDS Discovered Only After We Began Vaccinating Kids
- VAXOPEDIA – Do Kids Really Get 72 Doses of Vaccines?
- VAXOPEDIA – Grave Reminders of Life Before Vaccines
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Didn’t Everyone Die with Our 1980s Level of Vaccination Rates
- VAXOPEDIA – Remembering Measles
- VAXOPEDIA – Historical Immunization Schedules
- VAXOPEDIA – What Are the Greatest Tricks Anti-Vaccine Folks Use to Persuade Parents to Skip Vaccines?
- VAXOPEDIA – Vaccine Analogies and Metaphors
- VAXOPEDIA – Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine
- VAXOPEDIA – 100 Myths About Vaccines
- VAXOPEDIA – Anti-Vaccine Points Refuted A Thousand Times
- AAP – Immunization Against Pediatrics. Report Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases, 1960.
- 69 Doses…or Is It 53? Or Even Fewer?
- 69 Doses and Matters of Trust