There are three camps of thought when it comes to childhood vaccinations. The first camp of thought is to avoid vaccinations all together. The second camp of thought is for full vaccinations on a normal schedule recommended by medical professionals. The third and possibly most controversial camp of thought believes in delayed vaccinations. Delayed vaccinations receive the most controversy due to the parent choosing when and how a child will receive vaccinations and thoughts from both sides of the debate feeling there should be no debate. Either a parent vaccinates their child or they do not.
The problem is there are several reasons that a parent or family may choose to delay vaccinations. These reasons can be personal, medical or emotional. The following reasons are among a long list of justifiable views why vaccinations may be delayed and why parents may choose to delay vaccinations for their children.
Increased Shots Per Visit
One of the most prominent reasons a family may choose to delay vaccinations is due to the increased shots per visit. At 2 months of age, the baby will have a first visit well baby appointment. During this appointment, the baby will receive 6 shots for 6 vaccinations. When the baby returns for the 4-month visit, they will receive another 6 shots for 6 vaccinations. During the 6-month well baby visit, the baby will receive 7 shots including a flu shot during the flu season. This means that during the first 6 months of life a baby will receive 20 total shots including the first Hepatitis B shot at birth. Many parents feel that this is far too many vaccination shots in a short amount of time. Therefore, they will delay the shots to stretch over a longer period.
Some children are born with allergies to various types of food or medicines. For this reason, a parent may choose to delay particular vaccinations for future visits or for an alternative that may be available. The most common example of this reason is the flu shot. The flu shot is egg based and if a child has an egg allergy, the flu shot could cause adverse side effects. Another reaction may be to the medicine within the vaccine itself. With proper medical consultation, an alternative can be found, but this would cause a delay in the vaccination schedule. For these reasons, a delayed vaccination schedule may be an option.
Concerns for Health Issues
A major reason that families will choose a delayed vaccination schedule is based on a fear or concern of the “what if” concept. There is debate surrounding certain vaccinations causing Autism and other developmental issues. Though there have been no scientific connections between vaccinations and Autism, it is still a concern parents may have. There are other issues that parents may feel are directly connected to the vaccination schedule in the first six months of a child’s life. In order to protect the health of their child, a parent may feel the need to delay certain vaccines in order to avoid complications.