The number of parents questioning the wisdom of the currently recommended schedule is up and corroboration is easy to find. An article in the journal Pediatrics in August 2016 reported that the number of pediatricians encountering parents who either question vaccine safety or refuse one or more vaccines or want to use an alternative vaccination schedule for their children increased from just under 75 percent in 2006 to 87 percent by 2013. Some physicians resort to denying medical care to children if parents refuse to give their children all federally recommended vaccines according to the CDC’s recommended schedule.
What do parents do if their child has an adverse reaction to a vaccine? See their doctor of course. But does the doctor offer help and support, just dismiss the parents, or worse, give totally useless and harmful advice? Here are a few stories from my practice that will make you shake your head in disbelief.
In 1953, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommended 16 doses of four vaccines for children. By 1983, those numbers had increased to 23 doses of seven vaccines. Today, states mandate as many as 69 doses of 16 vaccines for children before the age of 18. But the CDC has yet to conduct comprehensive studies on the effect of so many and so many combinations of vaccines given simultaneously or within the recommended period of years. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, “the number, frequency, timing, order and age of administration of vaccines had not been systematically examined in research studies.” This is why it is absolutely vital that parents closely observe and record a number of variables surrounding their children’s vaccinations and all reactions to them. The most reliable way to ensure your child’s safety is to keep your own records. That is why CMSRI created the Immunization Journal, which provides an organized record to track your child’s immunizations, including the date and site of injections, the vaccine manufacturer and lot number, the administrator of the vaccines and more. The most important protection for any child is a fully educated parent. We hope the Immunization Journal will be widely distributed to help inform and arm parents with an important tool as they consider whether or not to vaccinate their children.