Today there are many vaccines for children which have to be taken within the first 2 years of life. However, some parents are now asking their healthcare providers to space the injections or even change the vaccine schedule. These parents are concerned that too many vaccines at the same time many overwhelm the immune system and be detrimental to the child. Plus, parents also worry that these vaccines may also increase stress and pain in their child.
In the last few years, the debate about childhood vaccinations has increased chiefly because of outbreaks of vaccine preventable infections – this has occurred chiefly because parents are refusing to get their children vaccinated at the recommended schedules.
A few years ago there was a major outbreak of measles that occurred at Disneyland, California. Now the state has passed a law that mandates all public school children to get immunizations as scheduled. Today, California schools have the highest rate of vaccinations compared to the past 15 years.
Pediatricians continue to observe that patients now ask more questions about vaccines than any other treatment. They want to know why children need all these shots at once and if they are safe. The thing that most parents do not understand is that the longer a child waits for the vaccine, the higher is the risk of developing an infection. So far, there is no evidence that getting all the shots at once is detrimental to the immune system.
Vaccines offered today are more precise and better targeted towards the organism and are less likely to damage the immune system. The majority of children receive vaccines to protect against 14 disease and the vaccines only target 150 viral or bacterial components as compared to 3,000 components targeted in the older vaccines. With more specific vaccines the risk of harm is much less.
Doctors emphasize the fact that getting the vaccination done in one shot is less stressful and painful compared to getting them at intervals. The refusal of parents to get their children vaccinated on time has resulted in a number of outbreaks of preventable infections like measles and whooping cough, which are serious disorders. Plus, when the child gets sick, the cost of healthcare also increases.
Parents need to understand that there is a committee that reviews vaccine safety and effectiveness and their primary goal is to ensure safety of children; these professionals also have children and do not want to cause any harm. For some, there is a general belief among the population that vaccines can cause disorders like autism. So far, vaccines have been thoroughly evaluated and overall their benefits far outweigh the risks.