I struggle daily with the decision on whether or not to vaccinate my 9 month old son. He was fully vaccinated at 2 months (no Hep B at birth though), but hasn't received anything since. After that appointment I read your book (so extremely helpful) and decided to take time to carefully consider how I wanted to proceed with vaccinations.
My biggest hesitation in vaccinating is that my husband has multiple sclerosis so our son has a direct family history of autoimmune and neurological disorders.
Of all the diseases that there is a vaccine for, meningitis scares me the most so the vaccine I go back and forth with the most is Prevnar 13. I'm trying to calculate my child's risk for invasive Pneumococcal disease.
His is breastfed (has never had any formula) and started solids at 6-1/2 months – all fresh organic foods that I make myself. I plan to continue breastfeeding beyond his first birthday (as long as he wants to). I'm a stay-at-home mom so he isn't in daycare. So far I've avoided places like the mall, public library, gym and church nurseries, restaurants, etc. I also keep him forward facing in the Ergo carrier when we go to the grocery store.
I would like to start getting him out more. I'd love to take him to the library story times, to play groups with friends, out to restaurants, sporting events, etc., but I am really concerned about Pneumococcal disease – especially meningitis. According to your book you feel it prudent for unvaccinated children to avoid nurseries and daycare settings for the first two years of life. What are your thoughts on the stay-at-home breastfed child being exposed to public places like restaurants, libraries, etc?
According to your book you've treated two serious cases of invasive disease, both of which were in unvaccinated children. Do you recall if those children were breastfed? Were they stay-at-home kids or in daycare?
I found the following information from PEDIATRICS to be very insightful, however, the data is from 1999 – before Prevnar was part of the immunization schedule, and well before the strain 19A was covered. So, while I think this information is encouraging I do worry that it may not be relevant to 2014.
In PEDIATRICS Vol. 103 No. 3 published March 1, 1999
Invasive pneumococcal disease was strongly associated with underlying disease and with day care attendance in the previous 3 months. Among 2- to 11-month-olds, current breastfeeding was associated with a decreased likelihood of invasive pneumococcal disease (odds ratio, 0.27; 95% confidence interval: 0.08, 0.90). Penicillin-resistant infections were independently associated with day care attendance, at least one course of antibiotics, and at least one ear infection in the previous 3 months.
This study shows the association of underlying illnesses, day care attendance, and lack of breastfeeding with risk of invasive pneumococcal disease in children. The association of recent antibiotic use and infection with penicillin-resistantS pneumoniae highlights the need to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use in children.
In the end I know that only I can determine the best course of action for my child, but I would love to hear your feedback, your personal opinion on Prevnar 13 in the circumstances I outlined here.
Thank you! Your books have been so helpful to me in trying to understand vaccinations, risks, benefits, etc.