Thursday, March 20, 2008


And now for a more serious subject: Vaccines. There's been so much coverage in the media about vaccines and children and the potential link between autism and the MMR vaccination. I've been paying attention, but hadn't known much about the vaccination schedule until our pediatrician presented it to me at our prenatal appointment.

A word about our pediatrician: I really like her. She's doesn't pull any punches and is very straight forward. She's not into trends. When I asked her what books she would recommend, she told me to get the guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics for birth to 5 years. She's very thorough and when she gives a suggestion, it feels like it comes from years of experience.

At Conrad's one month appointment, I brought a copy of Dr. Sears' Vaccine Book, which our doula had lent to me. The book suggests a more drawn out vaccination schedule than the one recommended by the Academy. It doesn't promote children skipping vaccines. I told her my concerns about overloading little bodies with so many vaccinations at one time (5 at the 2 month checkup - although admittedly combined into a single injection).

Her response was quite strong and somewhat unexpected. She looked me in the eye and said that the MMR vaccination does not cause autism and that she feels strongly that by drawing out the vaccination schedule that I would be increasing my child's pain by increasing the number of injections. I felt a little bullied, so agreed that at Conrad's 2 month checkup, we'd stick with the plan.

I plan on reading the Vaccine Book more thoroughly to see what I think, but right now, I'm not sure whether to take a stand with our pediatrician or to go with what's recommended.


griffey said...

This is a touchy subject, but only in the way that "intelligent design" is a touchy subject. Be sure that the science is very clear...any possible risk from the vaccine itself is so vastly overwhelmed by the risk of the diseases as to be irrelevant.

All the autism stuff is based on bad, bad science, and a confusion of correlation and causation.

That all said, I'm a little surprised that she didn't agree to spreading them out...although she's right about the pain. Eliza was not the fan of hers. The worst was actually not injections at all. It was the after-effects of the oral one...gas pain like you wouldn't believe.

Yvonne said...

This is honestly one of those things that I swear was so much less of a big deal than I expected. I worried about it a lot and had visions of screaming and such. In reality, the nurse gave the shots really quick - bam bam bam - and by the time Charlotte had figured out what was going on she barely had time to cry. And stopped crying the second it was over. It was such a nonevent. And recall that Charlotte was a teeny little 6 lb thing at the time! (I don't remember an oral one...) For the pediatrician's practice you & I share, the shots are combos - something like 5 vaccines in 2 shots - so if you spread it out, you really would be doing a lot more injections. Just an FYI.

emily said...

I got the same response with our pediatrician when we asked about spreading them out -- and we went with her recommendation to do the many-in-few route. It is when they get older that the shots are more of a problem, and by then they have had most of the big combo shots. Other than a mild fever the day of, and lots of extra sleeping, neither of the girls have any side effects from the bundled shots, if that helps at all.

Anonymous said...

At first glance, I read the name of the book your doula lent you as "Dr. Seuss' Vaccine Book."

"I do not want my mumps vaccine/
I do not want it, Mama Jean."