Vaccination Schedule

Q. What’s the best age to start vaccinating? I have to admit, I’ve never read anything that’s middle of the road on the vaccination issue. When I started looking into vaccination information everything I found was either very pro orvery con.

A. The questions surrounding the issue of vaccination are the hardest questions I face each day in my office. Vaccines work and opponents of immunizations who try to convince you that they don’t are not being honest.

I am very much opposed to the routine vaccination schedule in the U.S. There are too many vaccines given too early in a child’s life and not enough information given to parents

Vaccines have side effects. There can be rare severe problems,  common minor problems and constant speculation about hidden problems. Vaccine proponents who deny side effects are not being honest with you, either.

My strongest recommendation to you and anyone else considering alternatives to the standard vaccine regimen is to become very well informed and discuss these issues long and hard with your doctor. A doc who won’t hold these discussions is too busy and you may need to move on to another.

Inflammation and swelling at the site of injection are common and can last for days. Large or very tender swelling may represent a small abscess and has to be seen by your doctor.

Fevers and flu-like symptoms are also not rare and almost never last too long. Severe lethargy or a high fever mandate a phone call to the doctor.

Rashes occur with many shots and usually can just be observed for a little while unless they cause you to worry.

Seizures or “collapse syndromes” are quite rare and require immediate medical attention.

I personally would prefer to start vaccines after the first 6-12 months of life even though I know that this would slow the development of immunity to whooping cough which may come back any year.

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