What to Do if You Don’t Want Your Child to Get 8 Vaccines at Once
From US News & World Report, by Deborah Kotz
The vaccine schedule that most pediatricians follow, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, takes a one-size-fits-all approach since that’s what’s best for protecting the population at large. Many parents, though, are searching for a schedule that allays their safety concerns, says pediatrician Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. The CDC recommendations aren’t set in stone; the agency advises doctors to “explore acceptable options,” if that’s what parents prefer, such as immunizing on an “alternative schedule” or delaying vaccinations until a child is closer to school age. Federal law requires doctors to discuss the benefits and risks of any immunization before administering it, so your doctor should be willing to address your questions. After all, says Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, “the doctor-patient relationship isn’t a dictatorship; it’s a negotiation.” Here are some options to consider.