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Health Team

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.

baby Pediatricians stick to vaccine schedule

"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.

23 Comments

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  • righthere1234 Nov 8, 2011

    Quoting: "The only reason why spreading them out is not approved by the AAP and CDC is because every time a parent has to brink their child in they have to pay another copay. The thought it that medicaid would save $158,000,000/year lumping as many as possible in a single visit."
    bensmyson
    November 4, 2011 7:17 p.m.
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    Most vaccines are included in a child's well visit, which most insurance companies don't require a co-pay. I have 2 children and have had 2 different insurances since they were born and did not pay co-pays on any of their well visits where they received vaccines. I don't think Medicaid and co-pays has anything to do with why we should vaccinate.

  • beas Nov 8, 2011

    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.

    Isn't this the purpose of the vaccinations? The immune system is developing, which means it isn't completely developed. If it's not completely developed how can you expect it protect the child against diseases?

    Also, aren't doctors the ones who have had the education and training in this? How can we as parents think we know as much or more than they? If that's the case, why go to a doctor to begin with? This is just common sense.

  • piratepeople2 Nov 8, 2011

    kudos to Jellygirl and her office. I work in immunizations and it never ceases to amaze me at what people do to jeopardize their childrens' health by crafting what they believe is a better schedule that what the AAP and ACIP have based theirs on( years of studies--go figure!)My favorite is the parents that only want 1 shot at a time (so as to not overwhelm the immune system) -poor kid. Wish we could fire patients the way her office can!

  • jellygirl Nov 7, 2011

    I am also a nurse, a pediatric one at that and am proud to say I work at a office where the doctors will not continue to see a family that will not vaccinate. I also believe these people should not be allowed to attend public school. If they have some religious belief then they need to go to some religious school. I don't think these unvaccinated children should be allowed to expose other immunocompromised children and the general population. The problem is that most parents are in the lucky generation that have never seen what some of the horrible diseases can do to you. Lets hope they never have to!

  • piratepeople2 Nov 7, 2011

    Guess Ms. Nurse 101 had never seen a child die from H.flu sepsis or meningitis, hospitalized or left permanently deaf from H.flu.Many of the younger parents have never seen alot of these diseases,thanks to vaccinations-not because the diseases don't exist-they are only a plane ride away,folks!!

  • gopack10 Nov 7, 2011

    Haemophilus influenzae and streptococcus pneumoniae are part of the normal bacterial flora found in and on the body. Since we are "training" the body through vaccination to resist these, now staph (which is also normally present on skin and nasal passages) is becoming a problem.

  • piratepeople2 Nov 7, 2011

    I too am embarrassed that a nurse made such ignorant remarks-makes ther rest of us look really bad. As for Healthy Skeptic-not sure what internet site you used, but alot of diseases are spread by respiratory contact, so yes, your child can be exposed in a waiting room-flu is spread when people cough/sneeze. Pertussis (whooping cough) which is on the upswing is also caused by respiratory spread and has killed many newborns. Dipthteria is also spread by sneezing/coughing. By the way, S*x is not the only way Hep B is spread-how about babies born to moms that are chronic hep B carriers??? Measles,mumps and rubella are spread through respiratory contact as well. It's kind of hard to control who breathes on you, huh??

  • eichn001 Nov 7, 2011

    Nurse- i appreciate your thoughtful comments. However, vaccines against strep pneumo do not lead to increased prevalence of staph infections. There actually was never a dramatic increase in strep pneumo after HIb, but because HIb declined, the percentage of severe illness due to pneumococcus increased as it became the most common one. Prevnar was not changed from PCV7 to PCV13 because the bacteria outsmarted the vaccine; the challenge was needing to find a way to create a conjugate vaccine against the extra six serotypes that were causing illness that weren't covered by PCV7. The challenge is that children don't respond to polysaccharide vaccines and thus we can't use the 23-valent vaccine that we give to adults. To be clear, these serotypes were always present- giving the pcv7 vaccine did not "create" other serotypes, they just became the only ones still causing illness due to the PCV7 vaccine being effective- same as the HIb vaccine. Make sense?

  • gopack10 Nov 7, 2011

    Yes a nurse said that and I am sorry if it embarrassed anyone. Hib was initiated and dramatically reduced illness caused by haemophilus influenzae type b (bacterial). Thats sounds great and is good news BUT after this we began seeing a dramatic increase in severe pneumococcal illness caused by streptococcus (bacterial). It appeared to replace HIB and the number of illnesses lead researchers to create yet another vaccine called prevnar. Since then prevnar has even had to be changed to cover more strains because the bacteria "out smarted" the vaccine. But now we have more staph than ever in children! Even simple ear infections are now being caused by staph are are extremely difficult to treat, let alone more severe infections. Serotype replacement is real and is showing to have effects on the types of bacterial infections that we are contracting. I guess the only solution is to come out with a staph vaccine so then yet another bacteria can take over. Were does this cycle end?

  • bensmyson Nov 4, 2011

    The only reason why spreading them out is not approved by the AAP and CDC is because every time a parent has to brink their child in they have to pay another copay. The thought it that medicaid would save $158,000,000/year lumping as many as possible in a single visit.

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