So... I don't really want to debate vaccines... I've already decided to vaccinate, mostly and especially because we're going back to Angola in August. DD will be three and a half months old when we head back... My pedi is obviously very pro-vaccine, but also was willing to work with an alternate schedule with me, which I appreciate- but, at her two week visit she asked me all these questions- like what kind of schedule did I want to keep, and how many shots at once, etc, etc.
I didn't really know what to say! I have Dr. Sears's The Vaccine Book, but I have to say I started reading it, and then just had a hard time getting very far into it.
Anyone have any advice or relatively easy to read info on alternate schedules, etc?
Also, this might be a long shot, but anyone know about traveling abroad and what you wouldn't want to travel without vaccine wise? I know there is an international travel pharmacy in town that I need to check in with- but if anyone has any first hand experience...
And how much can you space out vaccines...as much as you want? Once we go back to Angola, we probably won't have access to getting DD any more shots until Christmas when we'll be in Oz.
Why does it have to be so confusing!?!?
Mara & Joel, 2009
I have not read the vaccine book, but on the Sears website he has his alternate schedule laid out pretty well, so maybe that would be a good place to look. We have not followed anyone elses schedule but created our own. We just picked the ones we felt were most important (as in the highest risk of being caught and being dangerous to Hawkes) and doing only those on the schedule and then spacing the others out after 18 months. You can space them out as much as you feel comfortable with. We do not get Hawkes to the doctor very often so some have been spaced out by a year, although we are still catching up on the before school tract we chose to be on. I think creating your own schedule would be better since there are things you would want to vaccinate against being in Africa that we do not do here. I would look in to those. FOr us the most important were the dtap and the HIB, but if I was going to Africa I would definately make polio a priority as well. Not sure what else.
I love the Dr Sears book, but it's not a book to read front to back. I use it as more of a reference. Though the sections listing each individual vaccine, I go to those a lot. I reccomend starting with the vaccines the AAP has listed as vaccines they receive at 2 months. In those sections you'll find information abot the diseases and about the vaccine. Then you can choose which are the most important to you. I highly reccomend at least getting the DTaP, because it protects against whopping cough. I ended up getting the pentacel vaccine at 2 months because my ped doesn't offer that one seperately anymore (pentacel is a combo with DTaP, polio and Hib), I do one vaccine at a time. At 2 months he got pentacel, 3 months prevnar, 4 months pentacel, he'll be getting another prevnar next week, at 6 months he'll get another pentacel and then at 7 months another prevnar and then I believe those series are done. We're pretty lucky that we don't have a copay, or anything to pay when we just do a nurse visit for a vaccine
I haven't looked beyond that yet, I didn't really look into it at all until my dd2 was 1. My biggest reason for selecting and delaying is the aluminium content in each vaccine, I don't feel comfortable giving him more than one vaccine at a time due to that. At the moment dd2 doesn't have any of the chicken pox/varicella (dd1 got the first one before I did any researching so we chose to give her the booster since she had already had the first one), we were going to not give that one until puberty for both her and ds but dh got shingles and now we're reconsidering since if they get chicken pox it's my understanding he'll get shingles. And we delay MMR until 3 for the first vaccine. Not sure when we'll do the booster, my ped is giving me a hard time about requesting titers to check immunity, which I'd rather do.
We vaccinate more or less on schedule. I also declined the chicken pox vaccine until puberty, but other than that we do all of them.
I guess my question/comment is, if you're leaving when she's 3 months, do you have time to follow a delayed schedule and still get her vaccinated before you leave? I would probably be looking at which ones are the most important for the area you're going to be in and get those as you can. Good luck. I've found vaccines to be a tricky thing.
I would definitely err on the side of caution considering your situation and where you will be living. I do believe that for most humans, vaccines do way more good than harm. There are some children who are sensitive to them and have bad reactions, but from what I've heard firsthand and read it seems that they also are people who tend to be proned to food allergies as well.
We were not given a choice on vaccinations, just told at each appt what she was getting. The worst thing that happened was a fever after her 6 or 8 week ones. No issues whatsoever. I am considering switching us to a naturopathic family medicine practice and they also reccomend most of the vaccinations, but do split some that other docs combine.
We taught in West Africa for two years...decades ago. Before leaving, we each were given way more shots than we ever wanted, all at once! (US Peace Corps) We were given about 15, all at once, some of them experimental. We were only told this afterwards too.
Fortunately this was no problem for us as things turned out.
But if I were traveling with an infant, I would check out the particular vaccines for which Benita would not have mother's immunity from breast feeding. You could deal with those other vaccines in Oz at Christmas time where you feel more secure I imagine. So the shots that YOU are required to get (yellow fever? etc...) may give her all the protection she needs until that time. ASK! Also, we needed lots of malaria protection there. Will that too need to be addressed? Perhaps your hospital has a travel clinic which can inform you if your pediatrician does not know the answers. I know that Toronto has such a clinic.
We took our infant son to Brazil at 9 days old. He had no vaccines at the time as I was nursing then, but he did have stomach surgery there. We went to a private German hospital in Rio where we felt as confident as new parents can feel.... Fortunately my only friend there was a doctor with great contacts. I hope you have no such difficulty! Travel at this stage is pretty good actually. No baby food etc needed!
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