Advanced Pediatrics Immunization Page
Welcome to the Advanced Pediatrics Immunization Page! We might think we are in an interesting historic moment when it comes to immunizations. After all, the Internet is crowded with all sorts of claims and counter-claims, urgings, arguments, has it ever been like this before?
Well, no one moment is exactly like another but certain features of our current immunization turmoil are in common with the experience of immunizations ever since Edward Jenner gave the first healthy person a case of cowpox to save their life from the dangers of smallpox.
The essential question from that day has been this: why would anyone do anything to a perfectly healthy person to prevent a future illness, doesn’t that expose a healthy person to potential harm?
The essential answer to that question has remained the same too: when faced with illnesses that can kill people, taking steps to prevent such deaths is a good thing to do.
In every era since the first Jenner smallpox vaccination in 1796, this question and this answer have been batted about, back and forth, in a dazzling variety of ways, but they both remain with us to this day.
At Advanced Pediatrics, we accept the value of saving life, and after many decades of study, find the evidence that immunizations’ saving of life comes at essentially no significant risk compelling, convincing, and overwhelming.
At the same time, we continue to respect the responsibility of a parent to decide what procedures their child will have, as well as the community to ensure everyone’s safety.
To these ends we would like to make available resources as you approach protecting your child(ren) from a series of potentially deadly diseases.
These resources are:
- The CDC/AAP Recommended Schedule of Immunizations
- The AAP Refusal to Immunize Form
- Links to CDC Epidemic Warnings.
The CDC/AAP Recommended Schedule of Immunizations
Here it is, the official and current schedule of recommended immunization in the United States. There is an infant/child table, and an adolescent/young adult table.
A few observations are so important as you take a look at this.
Live v. Dead Vaccines
Most immunizations are dead, that is there is no live germ in them. On this schedule, only 3 are live- the MMR, chickenpox, and rotavirus- all the others are dead.
Why does that matter?
Because live vaccines require no boosters, and most dead ones do. If I take a live vaccine and the live virus (they are all viral vaccines) works, my body will think I actually had the immunization’s disease, so it will create llfe-long immunity, and I will never need another dose of that immunization. No boosters!
Now, all the live vaccines suggest more than one dose, but only to increase the chance one of them will take, will work. Consider measles. One dose works for 95% of people, give two and 97-98% are protected for life. The difference spells the difference between continued measles outbreaks in high school and college (one dose) and no outbreaks (two doses).
Dead vaccines are not so convincing to the body, so they require a series of exposures, after one just a bit of antibody is made which fades quickly. A booster leads to more antibody which takes longer to fade. Each of these immunizations will lead to a high enough amount of antibody to last years, but only after the right number are given.
For tetanus, for example, it takes 3 shots, the first two 2 months apart, to get antibody level high enough to protect for a year, not just 2 months. A fourth shot leads to 7 years of protection.
The Beauty of the Schedule
Now, given that dead vaccines need a series to get to long-lasting protection, how many, how often will get you there?
Decades of research have determined, for every dead immunization, the lowest number of shots, at the earliest age, at the shortest interval, will deliver the longest protection.
Again, the whole point of immunizing at all is to keep your child from catching a dangerous, even deadly, disease. The fact that such things happen is dramatically proven by taking a look at life before immunizations, when every parent had to worry about their child dying from an infection, a dread now almost completely ended.
And, if we want to protect the child, why not do so as soon as possible, why have the child at risk of such infections at any time they do not have to?
The Standard Schedule offers an approach developed after decades of very detailed work, to have the immunization protection available at the earliest day possible, and put in place with the fewest number of shots.
No reliable physician would ever advise against use of the Standard Schedule unless the person had a medical reason the immunization could cause harm.
But the public has come up with a broad range of alternatives. All the alternatives share one property: they delay protection.
Once a family steps off the Standard Schedule, their child is exposed to more days they could come down with one of the dangerous infections. For families that refuse all vaccines, that danger remains permanents. For families that spread out the dosages, the danger is extended during the days of the spreading out, but ends once they catch up. Either way, the door to an avoidable danger is opened.
Take a Look
And so, here is the CDC/AAP Schedule, take a look. It is an approach that has saved millions of lives, might as well save as many as possible.
The AAP Refusal to Immunize Form
This form simply documents that if the doctors at Advanced Pediatrics recommend an immunization and the family says no thank you, that the immunization was offered and declined, noting the risks involved in delaying or denying the immunization. Families retain full rights to make such decisions, this form only documents that a decision to not give the recommended immunization was made.
We at Advanced Pediatrics remain devoted to being available to answer all questions about immunizations, to be open to all conversations about them, with all families, whenever they would like to talk about them.