And the vaccine debate rages on! A surefire way to get into a fight on the internet is by mentioning ANYTHING that has to do with vaccines. There is still a huge divide between some parents and the medical and scientific communities when it comes to vaccinating your kids. Not all parents, mind you. There are plenty of families who know that vaccines are safe and effective and follow the schedule recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Still, there is a growing contingent of parents who refuse to believe the decades and decades of research and evidence. They choose instead to not vaccinate their children. Somewhere between those two groups lies another faction: the delayers. Delaying vaccines is quickly becoming an acceptable middle ground, but science is ringing the alarm on the safety and efficacy of a delayed vaccine schedule.
Delaying vaccines has been pushed as an acceptable way to “protect” your kids. But research shows that it can affect kids later in life, and not in a good way.
The alternate vaccine schedule most used today was created by Dr. Bob Sears. He recommends splitting up commonly bundled vaccines, spreading out shots, and eliminating some altogether. According to Dr. Sears, this prevents “chemical overload”. But the problem with his claims is that they’re just not scientifically accurate. Not only that, but delaying vaccines puts infants and kids at risk.
Alternate vaccine schedules put babies at risk for contracting dangerous and deadly diseases.
In an interview with Healthline, Dr. Allen Craig, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease lays it out. Dr. Allen says, “Infants and young children who follow immunization schedules that spread out shots ”” or leave out shots ”” are at risk of getting sick.” In fact, according to a recent study cited by the CDC, the ” delay of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine until after 15 months was associated with a higher rate of febrile seizures.” And don’t even get me started on how delaying vaccines screws with herd immunity.
So what is the benefit of delaying vaccines? Well, to put it succinctly, there isn’t one.
The CDC website says very plainly, “Children do not receive any known benefits from following schedules that delay vaccines.” There is also no science behind the claim that the recommended schedule will “overload” your child’s immune system. According to the CDC, “The antigens in vaccines come from the germs themselves, but the germs are weakened or killed so they cannot cause serious illness. Even if babies receive several vaccinations in one day, vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the antigens they encounter every day in their environment. Vaccines give your child the antibodies they need to fight off serious vaccine-preventable diseases.”
To vaccinate or not is still a choice that parents get to make. And I certainly understand and sympathize with the uncertainty some parents grapple with. But the bottom line is this: vaccines and the recommended schedule are safe. They are effective. And they save lives.