- Tetanus – It is caused by an infection from an anaerobic bacterium found in soil. The disease is quite serious and diffcult to treat. The vaccine has been reliable. The tetanus shot can be given seperate from the full DTaP and Dr Hoffmann-Smith recommends waiting until 10-12 months if parents decide to vaccinate for tetanus.
- Diptheria – Very serious disease, but also very rare. There have been reports of bad reactions to this vaccine including autism. Ideally, Dr. Hoffmann-Smith would recommend avoiding the diptheria vaccine, but if the pertussis vaccine is desired you can’t get pertussis alone; it has to be given with diptheria for some reason. Anyone know any details on this?
- Pertussis – Pretty serious infection and the infection rate in children under 2 has been increasing. Adults are usually the main carriers. The older pertussis vaccine has caused some major scares (substantial disability and in some cases, death) and the new vaccine is only 80% effective. Dr. Hoffmann-Smith recommends a delayed schedule, only giving 1 shot at a time … 6 months, 8 months, 14 months and a 5 year old booster.
Pneumococcus (Prevar) – A relatively new vaccine. Considered experimental by some.
Dr. Hoffmann-Smith’s Recommendation – wait to see track record of vaccine
Rotovirus – Rarely severe and very treatable (flu like symptoms). Worst case scenario would be hospitalization for dehydration related to vomitting and diarrhea. Vaccine is relatively new and side effects are unknown.
Dr. Hoffmann-Smith’s Recommendation – one to consider skipping
MMR – This vaccines is comprised of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (live attenuated viruses). Quite a bit of controversy surrounds the MMR vaccine. Currently it can’t be separated so if parents opt to get one, they get them all. The safest option seems to be delaying the vaccine since the risk of contracting these diseases is quite low. When given it is beneficial to also have a high dose of Vitamin A (75,000 IU) since it is a live virus.
Dr. Hoffmann-Smith’s Recommendation – begin sequence around age 3 or 4, spaced out by at least 6 months
Varicella (chickenpox) – This vaccine is being somewhat encouraged, because it has been known to help fight shingles later on in life. Chickenpox is much more dangerous in adults; not so much for kids. This vaccine hasn’t been around very long, so long-term studies of side effects are unknown.
Dr. Hoffmann-Smith’s Recommendation – consider vaccinating if chickenpox hasn’t been contracted by age 10
- Parents Against MMR
- “Should I Vaccinate My Baby?”
- K.N.O.W. Vaccines
- “Angst Over Not Vaccinating Children is Unwarranted”