I'm currently not a mother, but the vaccine issue is so confusing, I've started researching things already (about 2 years prior to TTC lol). This will sound *really* odd, but I am coming at the vaccine issue for kids after doing extensive research on vaccination in dogs.
We have 4 dogs, all on a limited vaccine protocol that has us only giving one vax at a time, spreading boosters apart by at least a month, vaccinating for only core vaccines, and trying to avoid super combo vaccines (i.e. a 4 in one instead of a 7 in one for distemper/parvo). The vaccine info I have from dogs (and my studies as an animal science major in college) really colors my views on human vaccination.
I'm not anti-vaccine at all (I have gotten a DTaP booster, HPV, flu vaccine, etc. all in the past 10 years when I've made the vaccinate or not vaccinate decision for myself), but I'm very skeptical of the extent and way in which we vaccinate children.
A few questions from the dog side of things that I haven't found answers for in the human vaccine debate to date:
- why do we start vaccinating well before maternal antibodies are fading? My reading indicates that maternal antibodies in breastmilk start to fade around 6 months of age, so wouldn't vaccines given before this point be redundant if a child is still exclusively breastfed by a mother who is fully vaccinated? In puppies, we generally don't start vaccinating until after weaning for this reason, unless the puppies are in a high risk environment or mom dog was unvaccinated. According to the CDC's guidelines currently, kids are vaccinated for the same 8 diseases 2-3 times *before* 6 months of age! That seems crazy!
- Is it even truly possible to find human vaccines that split the typical combo vaccines into individuals (DTap, MMR, etc.)? I know some people do this, but in vet situations often they aren't available because vets can't justify buying a pack of individual vaccines for a single client and I'm wondering if the same is true in medical practices for humans. Is this a situation where having a doctor that is pro-limited vaccines is essential?
- I've seen titers mentioned a few times, but do people ever use them in place of vaccines (to determine whether a child is protected) when trying to follow a selective vaccine schedule? Do schools ever accept titers in lieu of vaccines?
- Similarly, do mothers to be ever get titers to ensure that they have enough antibodies to pass along to the LO in order to delay the start of vaccines?
Thanks for any insights!