Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eli's Vaccination Schedule

After much thought, prayer and worry. We finally settled on a vaccine schedule for Eli.

I used to not understand why parents hesitated to vaccinate their children; but after Rob and I were vaccinated for our travels to Africa and had mild reactions ourselves and the whole mercury-autism scare happened, I knew I would want to look into it before we choose what was best for our family. Once we found out we were having a boy, I also wanted to be very cautious as the rate of autism among boys is so much higher than that of girls- and so many people still point fingers at vaccines as a leading cause (more and more people believe that autism is due to heavy metal poisoning). I think it would be really interesting for someone to research if boys' blood-brain-barrier remains more penetrable and for longer than baby girls'.

Well, my lack of decision defaulted into a decision pro procrastination. Everything I read left me more conflicted. I knew I didn't feel right about vaccinating a 3 week early 2 month old and I asked to delay until 2 months after his due date. That day came and went and I still didn't feel his body was ready.

Because Rob was no longer traveling internationally, I was exclusively breastfeeding, and Eli wasn't in day care of any kind, I felt delaying a little longer while we worked out a selective, spaced out schedule was better than jumping right in. Still, the more I read the more conflicted I became.

Even after studies show that the thimersal (mercury) in infant vaccines did not cause autism (i'm still not sure I buy this), and it has been removed from most all infant vaccines (check your brands), there are still a lot of nasty ingredients that can make babies sick and some worry cause damage to young systems that aren't mature enough to handle them.

But after 5 months, the worry scale began to tip the other direction. I heard whooping cough everywhere and even made Rob leave a Hardee's after I heard a baby cough next to us that sounded especially juicy. I could see meningitis germs lurking anywhere, even on the purest of church bulletins. As Eli gained the skill to be able to grab and taste even things outside of his reach, I knew it was getting close to time to vaccinate. And a little shy of 6 months, we were at my old pediatrician's office getting our first shot.

We decided to space them out and pair ones with higher levels of aluminum with lower or no aluminum vaccines and higher reactive ones with milder vaccines. We're going to try our best to catch chicken pox naturally as it is amazingly better at providing lifelong immunity among other benefits over the vaccine. This is what we came up with:

Eli's vaccination schedule

6 m - DTaP, HIB (7-7-10)
7 m - Prevnar (8-4-10)
8 m - DTaP, HIB
9 m - Prevnar
10 m* - DTaP, HIB
11 m* - Prevnar
13 m - Polio**
16 m - Mumps, Polio**

19 m - Prevnar, HIB
22 m - DTaP

2y 4m - Rubella, Polio**
2y 10m - Hep A
3y 4m - Measles**
3y 9m - Hep A
4y 4m - DTaP, Polio**
5y 4m - MMR

* These shots may be unnecessary since we began the series so late, we don't quite know if this is the case yet. If they are unneeded, we'll bump the next shots up by a bit.
** We may still do some playing around with the placement of the polio, and M, M, R shots

We'll decided on flu shots as the season presents and our options available..

This schedule does lead to some visits in-between check-up visits. But, our office is so convenient and supportive. We just schedule an appt. with the nurse, pop in get a shot and in 10 minutes we're out.

So far, Eli has done AMAZING with all 3 shots he's received. He wasn't the first bit cranky, did not run a fever, and only had minor irritation at the injection site. And this with no Tylenol! Will we use the same schedule for any other little Hartleys? Maybe, but probably not. I'm sure each child's needs will be a little different. For instance, we won't start vaccinating at 2 months, but I can't imagine us delaying until 6 months with big brother Eli running around with his rat pack toddler friends, eating mud, etc...

Mothering Magazine and The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears were by far my favorite resources during this process.

1 comment:

  1. we have followed schedule so far, but all the talk has started to get me worried.

    i think i may delay mmr, but not sure. i actually had rubella as a child- not sure if it was after my vaccine though.

    chicken pox is a NO for us. i had chicken pox, and i lived. i think it's better to have it, and get it over with. plus, it's fact that the vaccine is made from the cell line of an aborted fetus. sorry, not doing that.