Dear Doctor Sears,
I am upset to find that my wonderful doctor is pushing the MMR pretty hard for my one-year-old. I posted this in the general "Selective and Delayed" forum, but would love your opinion on the matter. I am getting pretty anxious and need some perspective. Here is my post, and let me just say now that I really, really trust the intelligence and experience of our pediatrician:
I have a 12-month-old girl, whose pediatrician has, up until this point, been very understanding about delaying vaccinations. In fact, she doesn't like to see babies get any shots at all until at least four months, and then spaces them out in a way that is even gentler than the Sears schedule. She never gives more than one new shot at a time (that is, shots of things the child hasn't had a shot for yet), she lets you space them far apart, and she won't administer one if a child seems even a little sniffly. Some children in her practice (I know, because a friend sees her and refuses to vaccinate) skip the shots altogether.
Anyway, I wrote her to ask about what was coming up for my baby's 12 month appointment, and she said she would like to do an MMR this time, because measles is out there, people are getting sick, and she herself had even received notice of having been exposed on a train ride. There isn't an outbreak in this state, but there was at least one infected and contagious tourist near here who was reported this summer. I guess the pediatrician used to wait until the babies were two years old, but is no longer into humoring parents now that the risk of measles seems more threatening. Which I totally get...but...
I feel confused. I know I should trust this doctor--she is very experienced, and is very confidant about the safety of the MMR at the same time as she practices complementary medicine, pediatric hypnosis, etc. I have endless respect for her abilities and intelligence. But we chose her in large part because she allowed delayed and selective vaccinations (even though she's pretty expensive and doesn't take insurance), and despite the evidence I'm worried about the MMR. In fact, it is the primary vaccine I wanted to delay, so this is quite a disappointment. I am pretty sure that if we refuse it she will go along with our wishes, but I know she won't be happy...and I can't help feeling like she really knows best. I'm just terrified, that's all.
Anybody have any perspective on this?