So I was way too exhausted with anemia and all sorts of challenges the first few months after my baby was born to look into vaccine alternatives, I just crossed my fingers and did what the doctor recommended, shots at 2, 3, and 4 months. I hated it, the baby hated it and clearly had a lot of pain, but we had no serious reactions, not even a measurable fever. I know there are some serious risks though, so I feel lucky.
Now I am looking more closely and I regret letting her get the Prevnar series at all (it just looks like a bad idea with new strains replacing the vaccinated ones and getting the same illnesses etc), but now that she's had the first 3 shots, I'm wondering what to do about the next one. How long can I delay it and still have it be effective? Is there any risk to NOT getting it at all, or waiting a year or two?
I see in the US these are given at 2, 4, 6 and then 12-15m, a booster. Here in France it's 2, 3, 4m, and then, according to my doctor 12m, but according to the schedule in our health record book, 16-18m (yes, I'm going to point this out to my doctor when I see her next!)
Has anyone stopped partway through the Prevnar series, or have scientifically informed advice about this question? I'd really appreciate any perspective on this!
First, there has been some controversy over whether Prevnar should be given in a 3 or 4-dose series. There is *supposedly* some research indicating that 3 doses confer sufficient immunity.I know that one year during a vaccine shortage, various health care providers such as Kaiser Permanente announced that they would only be administering three doses, and nobody seemed to be in a huge panic.
Second, look up the Catch-Up Schedule for vaccines from the US Centers for Disease Control. (France may use a similar catch-up schedule from the World Health Organization, but the information should be the same). The minimum interval between the third and fourth dose of the vaccine is 8 weeks. There is no maximum interval, so you *can* take your time making a decision! The disease is at its most dangerous during infancy and in the elderly.
The only risk in stopping the series is, in theory, your child catching one of the 13 strains covered by the vaccine. I read in The Vaccine Book (by Robert Sears) some cited evidence that after the after the first version of Prevnar, which covered 7 strains of the disease, other strains of the disease started occurring in vaccinated children...hence the development of Prevnar 13. Who knows what will become of the disease years from now...
As vaccines go, Prevnar is one of the more reactive ones, so your concerns and experiences are valid. Good luck with your decision.
Please help - it turns out I had my facts wrong and I still need advice! Our health record booklet shows the 2005 schedule, which has been changed already for prevenar 13: now they do the shots at 2, 4, and 12months (booster), so only three in total instead of four (2,3,4 and 18m). The pharmacist I talked to also had outdated info, so it's a recent change, and it sounds like a good one. It seems like we might need to get the booster though.
When I saw our doctor for the 12m visit, she didn't want to do any shots while LO was sick (bronchitis), but said I should bring her back for it as soon as she's better, because otherwise it would be wasting the two earlier shots and the vaccine might not end up working at all. She says that she has seen a lot less complicated/dangerous ear infections since the introduction of this vaccine, and that reactions weren't common in her experience. Again, we had no serious reactions with the first two shots (even though we got some others at the same time, something I won't do again). She is fine with us waiting for a while on the MMR, and she listened to my concerns and was respectful and non-pushy in her response, so I'm sort of tempted to listen to her advice since we already started the series, but I'm still a little nervous. Am I missing something?
|Delayed Vaccination , Selective Vaccination|