To scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids, anti-vaccine folks continue to push the idea the kids get too many vaccines at too early an age.
They try to reinforce the idea by comparing things to the “good ol’ days,” when they think kids only got one dose of one or two vaccines.
Vaccine Schedules from the 1940s to 2019
Let’s take a look at how the vaccine schedule has evolved over time to see how many vaccines kids used to get. Looking at the old vaccine schedules can also help you understand how we got to our current schedule.
Although not a formal schedule, the first vaccine recommendations were published in the AAP’s Special Committee on Prophylactic Procedures Against Communicable Diseases 1938 pamphlet, Routine measures for the prophylaxis of communicable diseases.
It included vaccines against diphtheria, pertussis, rabies, tetanus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and smallpox.
That’s the schedule from 1948!
Many of you were led to believe that kids only got 2 vaccines back in the day. Instead, they got more vaccines and multiple doses of those vaccines.
By the early 1950s, the DPT vaccine became routine. Other vaccines were also available for special situations, including rabies, typhoid, parathyphoid, and the BCG vaccine.
And of course, we got the polio shot in 1955!
Although few people remember, the original polio vaccines were monovalent and only included one polio strain in each shot. So you had to get multiple shots to get protected from all three strains!
The polio shot, was used until 1962, when we switched to the oral polio vaccine. Trivalent OPV wasn’t licensed until 1963 though. Before that, kids got multiple doses of monovalent OPV, types 1, 2, and 3.
And for a few years, we had both inactivated and live measles vaccines…
Next came the individual mumps (1967) and rubella (1969) vaccines and the combination MMR vaccine (1971).
And the end of routine vaccination with the smallpox vaccine (1972).
The Hib vaccine was added in 1985.
Next came the hepatitis B vaccine and expanded age ranges for the Hib vaccine.
What’s still missing?
Vaccines and protection against rotavirus, hepatitis A, chicken pox, flu, pneumococcal bacteria, meningococcal bacteria, and HPV. And no, they weren’t all added right after the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, another anti-vaccine myth!
Those vaccines were added to the schedule much later:
- Varivax – a chickenpox vaccine (1995)
- the polio shot – we began to switch back in 1996
- VAQTA – the first hepatitis A vaccine was approved for high risk kids in 1996, but wasn’t actually added to the routine vaccine schedule until 2006
- Prevnar, with protection against pneumococcal bacteria (2000)
- FluMist – the nasal spray flu vaccine (2004)
- new flu shots recommendations for all healthy infants (2004)
Is the vaccine schedule starting to look familiar?
Since then, Prevnar was updated to include protection against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. And we got a new vaccine that covers the B strain of meningococcal disease, but otherwise there haven’t been any major changes to the vaccine schedule in a while.
Do you see 72 vaccines on the schedule?
Do you see 72 doses of vaccines on the schedule?
Kids don’t get 72 doses of vaccines today.
That’s an inflated number that’s used to scare parents. That it is a propaganda technique should be obvious, as the folks who use it don’t use the same anti-vaccine math to inflate the number of doses from the historical schedules.
More on Vaccine Schedules from the 1940s to 2019
- Are Vaccines Tested Together?
- Where are the Double Blind Placebo Controlled Randomized Trials about Vaccines
- Are There Any Long-Term Studies On Vaccine Safety?
- 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
- The Vaccine Schedule 1950-2018
- The Development of the Immunization Schedule
- History of the Immunization Schedule
- CDC Timeline 1940s – 1970s
- CDC – Past Immunization Schedules
- AAP – Round Table Discussion on the Practical and Immunological Aspects of Pediatric Immunizations
- AAP – Report of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases, 1960.
- Symposium on immunization. Recommendations and schedules for immunization. Experiences of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (1967)
- Study – Trivalent Oral Poliovirus Vaccine: A Comparison of Two Infant Immunization Schedules
- AAP – The Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule of the United States, 1995.
- Immunization practice in the United Sttes and Great Britain: a comparative study. (1969)
- Immunization schedules. (1970 France)
- 69 Doses…or Is It 53? Or Even Fewer?
- 69 Doses and Matters of Trust