Delaying vaccines is not a good idea
© 2015 Roy Benaroch, MD
I get asked, now and then, about delaying vaccines. What’s the harm?
#1: An increased risk of disease
There are many, many studies that have documented less disease in vaccinated individuals. Here’s one, just one recent one, from April 2015. Researchers in Israel looked at cases of pertussis in infants from 1998-2011, comparing the infants who had documented pertussis to a sample of infants who didn’t catch pertussis. Pertussis cases were more likely to be either unvaccinated or have fewer vaccines – a “delayed schedule” – than babies who got their vaccines on time.
#2: An increased risk of side effects
Several studies have shown this, too. Here’s an example: a 2014 study from several US centers showed that children who got their MMR vaccines late were about twice as likely to have seizures after vaccinations than those who got their MMR on time.
Let’s see. Increased disease, increased side effects. Still, we need to look at both the harms and the benefits to make an informed decision. So, for balance, what are the benefits of a delayed vaccine schedule?
There are none. Not one. Nada. It’s not safer, it’s not easier. It’s not better in any way. There are no benefits of delaying vaccinations.
So: delaying vaccines offers no benefits, and significant, objective risks. It should be an easy choice. Keep your children safe. Make sure they get their vaccines on time and on schedule.
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