Can the Immunization Shots be Delayed Till the Child is Slightly Older?
Some parents find it hard to subject their defenseless little babies to so many shots. They wonder if their young ones would be able to handle all those shots without any side-effects. Do vaccines really cause autism? Should the child be immunized at all or can the shots be delayed till the child is slightly older? These are questions that more and more parents are asking every day.
What Diseases are Infants Protected From?
Most of the diseases children are vaccinated against are very common, and given children’s weak immune systems these disease could be serious, life-threatening even. Some disease pose more of a risk during infancy than later, so kids are given those shots at birth, while others are postponed till later.
How Common are the Side Effects?
Common side effects associated with vaccines are fever, body aches and swelling. These reactions are very short term, and not too severe in the long term. On the other hand, the likelihood of a severe, life-threatening condition due to vaccines, disability or death is just 1 in 100,000 doses. But, the risk of catching a vaccine preventable disease during the first 12 years of a child’s life, if he’s not vaccinated is 1 in 600. So, not vaccinating a child carries significantly high risks compared to suffering severe side effects due to vaccinating.
Legitimate Concerns with an Early Schedule
At the ages of 2, 4 and 6 months, babies can be given as much as 6 simultaneous shots at each checkup. Although it hasn’t been proven, exposing babies to several chemicals and germs at the same time may not be the ideal thing to do.
One particular chemical that is a cause of concern for many parents is aluminum. Ingested, this chemical is harmless, but injected into the blood is toxic and harmful to the brain and bones. The amount of aluminum used in injections is carefully regulated by the FDA, but not vaccines. When given simultaneously, the 4 shots given at 2, 4, and 6 months could get 60 times of the aluminum recommended by the FDA, into children’s blood stream.
As mentioned earlier, vaccines are commonly associated with fever, body pains and swelling. But six simultaneous shots could trigger adverse reactions, irritating the nervous and immune systems. Postponing shots or rescheduling them so that the child gets no more than two shots in a row will make those severe adverse reactions rare.
Another area of worry is the brand of vaccines. Some brands of vaccines have mercury, some don’t. Similarly the level of aluminum in various brands is different. Choosing brands with relatively low levels of aluminum and mercury, rescheduling shots so that a child gets no more than two in a row, and delaying them till the child is older and stronger is certainly a wise idea, and one that you should talk about with your pediatrician.