Better safe than sorry? Vaccinate!!

Katie posted, “While most doctors agree that vaccinations are necessary, there has been a lot of talk about spacing them out. I.E. the more necessary or severe diseases first or not giving “group” shots such as MMR, but doing one at a time spaced out. How do you feel about this? Is it possibly a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach worth entertaining?”

If you’d rather be safe than sorry, the best thing to do is get your child vaccinated, and encourage every parent in your community to do the same. If all of our children remain fully vaccinated, we’ll maintain the great protection against these diseases that we’re all taking for granted now. But as soon as a sizable number of children go unvaccinated, the diseases will return.

There is no reason to give fewer immunizations, delay immunizations, or “break up” immunizations. It is the youngest babies who need the protection the most, and it’s best to get their vaccines done as soon as they’ll be safe and effective. Delaying immunizations will put not only your own child at risk, plus other people in the community—especially those with weak immune systems, such as the elderly or people undergoing chemotherapy. Because vaccines are never 100% effective, we all rely on our communities to keep most people fully vaccinated to protect those few in whom vaccines don’t work or can’t be given for genuine health reasons.

Multiple vaccinations cannot in any way “overwhelm” the immune system. A child’s natural immunity is exposed to hundreds of natural antigens every day, and the few extra ones included in current purified vaccines are truly a “drop in the bucket.” Yet these few drops are critically important to protect children against the most severe infections.

Unfortunately, communities that have pulled back on vaccinations (both in the US and in the developing world) have quickly seen a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases. We cannot take for granted that these infections are truly a thing of the past. The way to keep these diseases away is to continue to hold the lid on as tightly as possible.

Please, be “better safe than sorry.” Vaccinate your children following the best, most current vaccine schedule.

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