Vaccines, Part 3: The Schedule(s)

Before I get into each different vaccine and what we learned at the seminar I thought it might be valuable to post all the potential schedules you can follow. Researching vaccines is much more of “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate”. It is that and then “what vaccines and when”.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the following schedule in 2007 (Sears, 2007).
  • Birth – Hep B
  • 1 Month – Hep B
  • 2 Months – HIB, Pc, DTaP, Rotavirus, Polio
  • 4 Months – HIB, Pc, DTaP, Rotavirus, Polio
  • 6 Months – HIB, Pc, DTaP, Rotavirus, Hep B, Flu
  • 1 Year – MMR, Chickenpox, Hep A
  • 15 Months – HIB, Pc
  • 18 Months – DTaP, Polio, Hep A, Flu
  • 2 Years – Flu
  • 3 Years – Flu
  • 4 Years – Flu
  • 5 Years – DTaP, Polio, MMR, Flu, Chickenpox
  • 12 Years – Tdap, Meningococcal, HPV (3 doses, girls only)

In comparison, back in 1986-87 I received DTP, IPV, MMR, and HIB. Later on I had sequences of Hep A and Hep B.
Quite the change in just 20 years! I have also found vaccine schedules for other industrialized countries to be of value, especially the Danish Vaccine Schedule. I mean, isn’t everything cooler in Europe? (This coming from the girl who hasn’t been to continental Europe since she was 2 years old and the U.K. since she was 12). But really, all joking aside … the Danish Schedule has got some good reasoning.
Dr. Sears, M.D. F.A.A.P. who wrote The Vaccine Book gives parents an alternate vaccine schedule to consider. Although this is one of the most popular books on vaccines it does have its’ critics. A thorough analysis/critism of Dr. Sears text is available here.

  • 2 Months – DTaP, Rotavirus
  • 3 Months – Pc, HIB
  • 4 Months – DTaP, Rotavirus
  • 5 Months – PC, HIB
  • 6 Months – DTaP, Rotavirus
  • 7 Months – Pc, HIB
  • 9 Months – Polio, Flu (2 doses)
  • 12 Months – Mumps, Polio
  • 15 Months – Pc, HIB
  • 18 Months – DTaP, Chickenpox
  • 21 Months – Flu
  • 2 Years – Rubella, Polio
  • 2 Years, 6 Months – Hep B, Hep A
  • 3 Years – Hep B, Measles, Flu
  • 3 Years, 6 Months – Hep B, Hep A
  • 4 Years – DTaP, Polio, Flu
  • 5 Years – MMR, Flu
  • 6 Years – Chickenpox
  • 12 Years – Tdap, HPV
  • 12 Years, 2 Months – HPV
  • 13 Years – HPV, Meningococcal

The key differences between the regular schedule and Dr. Sears alternate schedule are obviously the timing and spacing of each vaccine. It also evaluates the types of vaccines that are administered together to reduce potential side affects. The order is also based on the perceived importance asking, “How likely is an infant to contract the disease”. An extensive reasoning behind the alternative schedule is available in Dr. Sear’s book, Chapter 19.
How on earth do you pick the right schedule? (Are you realizing, like me, that right is a very relative term?) I’ve got more info coming on each specific vaccine, so stay tuned! Again, I welcome your insight … what schedule did you use? Would you do it differently if you were given the chance? Was your doctor on board with your plan?
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Please do not take any of this information as advice … rather, a review of the information I have gathered and opinions I have developed. Nothing stated is necessarily “right” or “wrong”. Always do you own research and consult with an expert before making important decisions for you and your family.

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  1. Michelle says

    Hello again, This is a fabulous series you are doing, I am sure you'll be an expert when you're done! :)The whole scheduling concept seemed like the answer to all my worries when I first started thinking about vaccines. I used to think "Just find the perfect schedule and combination for my baby and everything will be fine". But then I realised how many different types of vaccination programmes there are and it made me once again suspicious, why would one baby in one country 'need' more or less vaccinations than another? Are the living conditions and environment that different??Having traveled a fare bit and lived aboard for a year (France), I find that most first and second world countries are not that different in terms of environmental risks but rather in their beliefs about the human body and lifestyles . To me it seens that unfortunately many Americans have a fast paced and very 'full' lifestyle. In addition to this there are the abysmal maternity and paternity leave laws that mean that many parents can't (or don't know how to) slow down and care for their new baby, so they have to drag them along for the ride instead. This brings up the correlation (and difficult debate) between staying home with your baby or choosing (or in many cases not having the choice) to be apart from your new infant (at work etc). The latter generally means that often tiny new babies come into contact with much more social interaction (thus germ exposure) than they had done historically or in comparison to babies born in other cultures. It all just confirms to me that vaccinations are just consumer 'products' that you can choose to 'buy' if you believe in the ideology behind them. And when I look at it like that personally, I'd like to choose some more 'products and ideologies' (namely 'green' life style changes and changeling my beliefs of what the human body was made to do) that are more natural and less risky!

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