What to Know About Your Child’s Immunizations

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Child Receiving Immunizations

Your doctor has a specific schedule for your child’s immunizations.

The state requires certain immunizations at certain times in order for your child to be enrolled in day care or public school.

Some controversy has swirled around immunizations in recent years. Let’s clear up the air a little, so that you can make a decision for your child based on his needs. First of all, the dates your child is advised to take his immunity shot is determined by exact birth date, and based on when he got his last round of shots. For example, for the Diptheria-Tetanus-Pertussis shot, there must be a 6 month window as a minimum, to the date, from his third to his fourth dose.

To arm yourself with all of these allowances and time lines, make sure to download your schedule from the CDC / Centers for Disease Control website. A good pediatrician will refuse to give an immunization until the exact date it is allowed, but knowing this for certain, you can stay on top of any mistakes in the doctor’s office. People do, after all, make mistakes. The timelines are given to make sure the child does not have too much of any medicine in his system. These are safeguards for you, the parent. The other safeguards in place include when the child should receive the first dose of any round of vaccinations. You would not, of course, want your child to be too small for any given vaccination.

What if I miss one or two immunizations for my child?

Anyone can miss a vaccination, depending on life circumstances. Many parents will find out through a phone call from the school or day care center. Doctors understand these things happen, too, and many will offer a shots-only appointment, or a walk-in immunization clinic.

  • Many areas also offer community clinics with immunizations, and some offer free immunizations. These shots are federally funded, because an uninsured or underinsured child by law must have the right to his immunizations.

With all of this information and ways to get vaccinations, how do I know for sure that we are doing this right?

Isn’t it wonderful that we live in the era of mass communications? As your doctor if your child is enrolled in IIS / Immunization Information Systems (in the United States). This internet program, which is safe and backed up by the federal government, keeps track of the registered children’s immunization schedule. That way, if you change doctors and schools, your child’s records are easily accessible and you can get right back on track.

Are there any vaccinations that I should not allow my child to have? What are my risks?

Though in past years, a lot of questions were raised about vaccines and the autism epidemic, the information and studies now have shown no link between any vaccine and autism. The most recent studies show that there is no difference in the stats between vaccinated and unvaccinated children in their risk of autism.

What about speculation of mercury poisoning?

Mercury, in the form of thimerosal, is very limited in today’s vaccines. The CDC says : “Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine. A preservative-free version of the inactivated influenza vaccine (contains trace amounts of thimerosal) is available in limited supply at this time for use in infants, children and pregnant women. Some vaccines such as Td, which is indicated for older children (≥ 7 years of age) and adults, are also now available in formulations that are free of thimerosal or contain only trace amounts. Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal contain 1 microgram or less of mercury per dose.”

SML TIP: If this still makes you nervous, you can have a conversation with your doctor about it and make a decision based on your personal beliefs and findings.

SML TIP: Dr. Oz, famed heart surgeon, makes the official stance that having vaccines is FAR more beneficial than not. He does not want to see diseases like polio make a return to our society, and vaccines are the best way to defend your child from paralyzing illnesses.

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