Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alternative Vaccine Schedule

I am very pro-vaccine.  I do not believe, with the recent research, they cause autism.  However, there are documented cases of certain children having various allergic reactions to them, and you always are a little leary to put something foreign into your child’s body.  So, I opted for an alternative vaccine schedule.  In other words, they still receive all recommended vaccines, and pretty close to the traditionally recommended schedule, but just spread out so that they’re not getting loaded up all at once.  You must be willing to go in to the doctor more often (monthly at first, rather than bimonthly), and you must find a doctor willing to accommodate this schedule (hard for some schedules, easy for others).  The classic alternative schedule is put forth by Dr. Sears: 

Dr. Sears’ Alternative Vaccine Schedule

  • 2 months: DTaP, Rotavirus

  • 3 months: Pc, HIB

  • 4 months: DTaP, Rotavirus

  • 5 months: Pc, HIB

  • 6 months: DTaP, Rotavirus

  • 7 months: Pc, HIB

  • 9 months: Polio (IPV)

  • 12 months: Mumps, Polio (IPV)

  • 15 months: Pc, HIB

  • 18 months: DTaP, Chickenpox

  • 2 years: Rubella, Polio (IPV)

  • 2 1/2 years: Hep B, Hep A (start Hep B at birth if any close relatives or caregivers have Hep B)

  • 3 years: Hep B, Measles

  • 3 1/2 years: Hep B, Hep A

  • 4 years: DTaP, Polio (IPV)

  • 5 years: MMR

  • 6 years: Chickenpox

  • 12 years: Tdap, HPV

  • 12 years, 2 months: HPV

  • 13 years: HPV, Meningococcal

I was planning to follow this schedule, however, wasn’t able to find a doctor able to administer some of these single shots.  Often the vaccines come as a package deal, and pediatricians simply do not have them as single-sized doses, thus they’re not an option.  Also, the MMR vaccine is no longer split up, you currently have to give it as the combo. 

Here is another alternative schedule by Dr. Stephanie Cave:

 Hep B

Delay until the year before starting school, although may consider starting the series as early as two and half if considering preschool.

4 mo, 6 mo, 8 mo, 17 mo

IPV (Polio)
4 mo, 6 mo, 8 mo, 17 mo (booster at 4 years)

5 mo, 7 mo, 9 mo, 15 or 18 mo (booster at 4 years)

Pneumococcal (PREVNAR) one dose at age 2

Varicela (Varivax)
Age four, if at all

Mumps – 15 mo
Rubella – 27 mo
Measles – 39 mo
Booster – age 5

After doing some research about WHY one would want to forego the traditional schedule for an alternative one, here are the reasons I found: 

Some vaccines contain aluminum, which could be harmful at high doses.  It is best to spread out the aluminum-containing vaccines (Dtap, HIB, PCV, Hep A, Hep B, HPV).  Vaccines free of aluminum include IPV, MMR, varicella, influenza, and rotavirus.  Some vaccines are considered “reactive” (Hep B, MMR, varicella, influenza) and no two should be given at the same time.  Finally, the only kind of flu-shot that is mercury-free is called Fluzone. 

So, using this information, I came up with an alternative vaccine schedule that avoided giving more than one aluminum-containing vaccine at a time, and avoided giving two reactive vaccines at a time, and that the pediatrician could still accommodate.  Here’s what I came up with: 

MONTH                  VACCINES


       (Dtap, Hep B, IPV = Pediarix), Rotavirus


       HIB, PCV


       (Dtap, Hep B, IPV = Pediarix), Rotavirus


       HIB, PCV


       (Dtap, IPV, HIB = Pentacel)




       Hep B


       PCV, Influenza*


       Hep A, VZ*


       (Dtap, IPV, HIB = Pentacel), Influenza


       MMR, Hep A
4 YEAR       (Dtap, IPV = Kinrix), VZ
5 YEAR       MMR

* can swap influenza and vz if flu shots
            are not yet available

Our pediatrician approved it, so that’s what we’ve been going with.  Good luck!

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