I saw a post on another board about Iceland's vax schedule being a 3 mo - 5 mo - 12 mo for DTaP, Hib, and Prevnar. Looking into it further, several countries use that schedule, and it is used by several of the countries who rank much better than the U.S. in infant mortality rate. I know there is much more to the infant mortality rate issue, so I'm not saying their vax schedule is why their infant mortality is lower than ours. I am saying, they are giving one less dose of those vaxs, and not having excess infant deaths (as reflected in their infant mortality rate), does the 3 dose schedule work as well as the 4 dose U.S. schedule? (I know DTaP has boosters, I'm mainly concerned with the effectiveness of the infant series). Why the difference in schedules?
Comparing vax schedules in U.S. vs other countries
Actually the German schedule is even crazier than the US one. It has one more MMR and a meningococcal C vaccine, plus they use Hexavac (DTaP, IPV, HepB, HiB).... HepA is only recommended, but my sister does it. Flu it says only for kids with chronic illnesses, but my sister does it and her ped gives it to every child too.
2 months Hexavac, Prevnar, Rotavirus
3 months Hexavac, Prevnar, Rotavirus (and third dose later if Rotateq is used)
4 months Hexavac, Prevnar
7 months and older flu (2 initial doses 4 weeks apart, then yearly)
11-14 months Hexavac, Prevnar, meningococcal C, MMR, varicella
15-23 months MMR, varicella
5-6 years DTaP, IPV, MMR boosters
9 years and older: HPV
And then teenie vaccines (TdaP, Menactra) and specific area vaccines (FSME, which is tickborne encephalitis in some forresty areas of Europe).
Now there is no mandatory vaccine law, so people do what they want, but if you follow the schedule that's what you get. Crazy, I know.
This link to the WHO site has schedules for all the member states (you have to do some clicking around to see the actual schedule. Very interesting to see that as PP mentioned, the U.S. by far has the one of the most aggresive schedules: http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/scheduleselect.cfm
In Japan (where I was born, I live in the U.S.now), I believe the schedule has 5 or so shots in the first year (polio, BCG and DTaP x 3) and about the same amount between 1-2 years. My friend whose baby was born in the U.S. then moved to Japan after age 1 was shocked because her baby was sadly so "ahead" of the vaccination schedule in Japan and was told no shots were needed for a long while.
It has to do with that particular country's level of disease (for example in canada Hep A is not routine, it is a travel vaccine, but other countries with high rates might use it. BCG is not used), and what vaccines are liscensed in that country, and what countries want to fund. In canada the federal governemnt will make their recommendations but each province will fund or not fund it according to there own choice, so you will have different schedules in each province, different parameters on who gets what, and where they want to fit it into their already exsisting schedule. One province you get second dose MMR at 18 months, another at the 4-6 yr booster. one province might fund flu for anyone who wants it, another province might fund only for certain high risk groups, one province will do hep b in infancy , another will do it in grade school. is the schedule the same in every state in the US?