Some parents delay childhood vaccines
Posted November 3, 2011
More parents are choosing to spread out their children's vaccines, but some pediatricians refuse to see children unless their parents follow the government-recommended immunization schedule.
Dr. Wayne Yankus, a general pediatrician in Ridgewood, N.J., is among a growing number of pediatricians who don't give parents the option of delaying child vaccines.
"These things prevent diseases that we don't have to see anymore," Yankus said.
The Centers for Disease Controls recommends 27 immunizations by a child's second birthday and another six by the time a child turns age 18. Some parents believe that's too frequent and want the option to spread out the vaccinations.
Yasmina Zaidman asked her daughter's pediatrician to slow down her baby's vaccination schedule.
"It just felt right to us, given that she's young and her immune system is developing," Zaidman said.
Yankus argues that the timing can impact the effectiveness of vaccines.
"Although parents have a right to do their children's immunizations as they see fit, they don't have a right to endanger school children," he said.
Mary Barnes, the mother of an 11-year-old boy, said she feels better knowing that everyone else in Yankus' waiting office is right on schedule with their vaccines.
"You know that if you're in the waiting room, the other children sitting near yours are healthy to the best of their capacity," Barnes said.