The Vaccine Schedule Explained
How Is the Vaccination Schedule Developed?
The United States vaccination schedule is developed (cdc.gov) by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and is adopted by other organizations, including the New York State Department of Health, which recommends vaccinations to prevent childhood diseases that result in serious complications or death. The New York State Department of Health has created a recommended vaccine schedule that can be downloaded (PDF, 312KB, 1pg.) for your ease and convenience, and to ensure your child receives proper and timely immunizations.
Why Is The Vaccination Schedule Set Up The Way It Is?
The vaccine schedule is designed to build your baby's immunity at an early age in order to reduce his or her risk of serious disease or death. Every day babies are exposed to germs from the air they breathe, to the things they touch and put in their mouths. If exposed to a disease, a baby's immune system might not be strong enough to fight it off without the help of a vaccination.
While some parents may worry that multiple vaccinations will harm their baby, it's simply not true. Babies' immune systems are ready to respond to vaccines to keep them healthy. There is no evidence that the recommended timing of vaccinations has adverse affects on children's health. In fact, children fight many more antigens on a daily basis than they fight when given any combination of vaccines on the vaccination schedule.
In 2007, Dr. Robert Sears, a.k.a. "Dr. Bob," published a book in response to parental concerns about vaccination timing. In it, he included "Dr. Bob's Alternative Vaccine Schedule," which is a formula for parents to delay, withhold, separate or space out vaccinations. But there is absolutely no proof behind his claims. Dr. Paul Offit, Chief for the Section of Infectious Diseases and the Henle Professor of Immunologic and Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says "the longer you space out vaccinations, the longer you will leave your child exposed to potential diseases (practice.aap.org)."
Recent outbreaks and deaths among children around the world from mumps to the measles to whooping cough are all proof that reduced vaccination rates increase exposure and disease risk. Before vaccines, many children died as a result of these diseases, but this no longer has to be the case; these diseases can now be prevented with vaccinations. Talk to your doctor and make sure to stay on top of the recommended vaccine schedule so your child is vaccinated, and protected, as soon as possible.
And remember, every year the flu remains a threat, and each year children still die as a result of having the flu. It's important everyone 6 months and older receives an annual flu vaccine. Every year a flu vaccine is skipped, your child is at risk. For more information visit "The Harm of Skipping Vaccinations or Delaying."