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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
FYI I posted this in the delayed forum as well but thought you guys may have some valuable input as well....

So we decided, after years of researching and being "on the fence" for a long time, to vaccinate our children. Our youngest caught a VPD and that was enough to kick our butt into action and decide we no longer want to wait. I also realize I was being completely misled but the lies and cherry-picked info from non-credible sources and truthfully I look back at the crap I believed when I was an anti-vaxer and I kick myself... but as they say, better late than never.

I never felt completely comfortable not vaccinating, and we had said we'd vax my oldest at age 2, but then we didnt.. she is 3 now and my other daughter is 15 months. Other reasons why we delayed- familial history of autism, reaction to vaccines, and neurological conditions. We also have MTHFR in our family (the kids are heterozygous- which means they each have 1 copy). I knew I would vax someday but wanted to wait until they are school age and catch them up then.. but now just seems like the right time.

So, my kids are 15 months and 3 years old. Both completely unvaxed. Initially we decided we would just use the CDC catch up schedule and do combo shots to eliminate the number of pokes they get at each visit. Well now I am realizing that they'd be getting pricked a LOT and that makes me worried. 1) I don't want them to fear the doctor 2) I do worry that they'll be getting more exposure to adjuvants/preservatives that way. I know that the vaccines are tested for safety together, however it seems like a lot of doctors opt for 5-in-1 vaccines, but we wouldnt be able to utilize those...

After looking at the CDC catch up schedule I realize that my 3 year old will only need 1 dose of Hib, and a few of the shots she'll only need 2 doses of, and the others she'll need 3 doses of... so the 5-in-one would only work at the initial visit, and after that she'd need to get them as individual jabs.

So having come from the anti-vax side very recently, I have to say that I am still wrapping my head around so many vaccines in one visit. Anyone have any credible literature about catch up schedules? My husband keeps reassuring me that if a tiny 2 month old or 4 month old were able to get 7 shots, then our 15 month old most definitely can! my question is this.... knowing your child may need 7 jabs in one visit, would you opt to do space them out at all? And perhaps do no more than 2 at a time each visit until they're caught up? How much time would you wait in between each visit? Or do you think that is equally as bad because then you'd still be putting them at risk for disease?

Has anyone here gotten their kids completely caught up and not had any major reactions? I would be lying if I said I didn't worry about autism. My cousin regressed completely after her 2 year shots, and hearing my aunt's anti-vax testimony makes me worry. My cousin lost the ability to speak for a year post-shots. My 14 month old is a bit behind with her speech already (per a speech pathologist from Early Intervention), and my 3 year old had speech therapy for about a year. I told myself I'd wait until age 2 for my youngest, but with my oldest potentially enrolling in preschool in the fall, and seeing how every time my youngest gets sick she gets severely sick (like scary lab work with not good CBC results sick... not just mild viruses or anything. A totally different child than my oldest, who has been sick fewer times in 3 years than my youngest has in 14 months!).

Edited to add this question-- Should we stick with the Family Medicine doctor that we have? We have a great relationship with her, and despite her being pro-vax she was always respectful of us. I just fear she wont know what the heck to do to get them caught up. I mentioned it to her on the phone the other day and she seemed overwhelmed. Also I am concerned that the nurses there won't be experienced with vaxing kids. I NEVER see children there. if I do, it is usually older kids. I have some health problems so sadly I see the doc frequently and have been there all times of day/week and never seen kids... Maybe this is a dumb concern but I fear the nurses there won't know to shake the vials before hand (or not shake them, depending on the particular vaccine being administered). The nurses I've encountered there are less than stellar. On a few occasions they havent been able to manually take my blood pressure while the machine was down. It doesnt give me much confidence in allowing them to take a needle to my babies! Do you think we should switch to a pediatrician? especially since we are getting caught up and this is more or less something a pediatrician would be well versed in?

Any advice?? Reassurance? Can you tell me your experience? Anything to ease my mind? I have seen the science and know that vaccines ARE safe but my mommy intuition puts doubts in my head.. though, I dont know if those doubts are just from the scare tactics from the anti-vax side... anyhoo... any advice is welcome! thx
 

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I think you really should take these concerns to your family Doctor and work together to find a schedule you are comfortable with. I think there's reasonable reasons to spread out the shots if you are OK with lots of visits. I also think there's no reason to be concerned about too many at once. I recall my son getting two shots at once (one in each leg) by a team of nursers - they did that to reduce his stress levels. He never had a serious reaction of any kind.
 

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Lots of questions so I am going to pick a few and try to answer to my best ability.

1) Where are you? "Jabs" isn't a common term in the US so I'm suspecting you might be from the UK or Australia? If so, my knowledge of the US schedule (and available vax) might not be much help to you.

7 injections in one visit is hard. It's just hard as a parent, and it will be hard for the person administering them. It's not unsafe but I understand why it makes you hesitate. My son never had more than 4 in a visit (2 in each leg), when I started catching him up at 2.5 years. He never had any serious reactions, but he did have a high fever once that made me take him to the ER. The fever was the only symptom and it quickly went away. He only needed one Hib and PCV. Or maybe two Hib. I don't remember without checking his records.

If you do decide to spread out vaccines, your kids will be more vulnerable for a longer period of time. That is a risk, but it's probably a small risk, depending on where you are. If you are committed to catching them up and decide to space it out, then it will be a lot of work on you and on your pediatrician for a few months (it will be a lot of work anyway, whether you space it out or not, so you have to consider what works best for you). I recommend being very diligent to keep up with your appointments, because it can be easy to let a lot of time lapse in between.

There are some exceptions but a wait of only about 4 weeks is required between the initial doses in some vaccine series. For the final dose of DTaP, Polio, Hep B and HAV you have to wait longer, like 6 mos.

The CDC has a catch up scheduler for parents for the US schedule. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html

2) I do recommend finding a practice that is familiar with giving vaccines. Pediatric practices usually are. Switch if you need to but don't wait too long. You don't want to switch mid-way through getting them caught up, for a number of reasons, and one being your stress levels.
 

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If you're concerned about family history of neurological deficits and autism, i would individually vax what you can and space them out. Especially in the beginning for a nonvaxed child. Should there be a reaction,you want to know what shot did it and avoid that in the future. Getting 7 in one day,makes that impossible to determine.

Keep in mind,each shot had been proven clinically safe on its own. There is not sufficient evidence proving the safety of the entire schedule as it stands. Multi dose 5in1 type combos DO have higher risks of reactions. The manufacturers state this in their post marketing surveillance as does a quick search on VAERS.

Don't vax your baby if she's sick,that helps limit some reactions.

Play it safe,start slow,pick the ones you're most concerned about. Each shot builds onto the % estimated immunity. So, they aren't completely unprotected just because you're spacing them out.

If you're child has a serious reaction,nothing a single person says will make you continue to vaccinate...if they don't then nothing a single person can say will make you stop vaccinating. Just remember that before you're quick to throw the baby out with the bath water when taking to other non vaxers. Follow your instinct ,just as the next mom is following hers.

Pediatric nurses are excellent shot givers and certainly have more experience than most family practitioners. Ask your Dr to administer them. Best of luck!❤
 

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If you're concerned about family history of neurological deficits and autism, i would individually vax what you can and space them out. Especially in the beginning for a nonvaxed child. Should there be a reaction,you want to know what shot did it and avoid that in the future. Getting 7 in one day,makes that impossible to determine.
I disagree that it would be impossible to determine the source of a reaction when you have several vaccines at a time. Generalized reactions like fever, yes that will be difficult to determine but that is common and would not be a contraindication for future vaccination anyway. Allergic reactions can be determined by giving skin tests (you can actually have them tested for sensitivity before vaccination if it's a big concern. MMR- gelatin may cause sensitivity. Hep B- yeast may cause sensitivity. Some vaccines have trace amounts of antibiotics for which sensitivity can be tested before vaccination, or later, if a reaction occurs.)

Live virus vaccines are associated with rare, specific reactions. Like a mild rash from MMR looks like a measles rash. A mild rash from varicella looks like chickenpox. Joint pain (usually in older girls/women) occurs after rubella. Possible (usually mild) swelling of the lymph nodes can occur in response to the mumps vaccine. Swelling in the limb where the injection was received is most likely from DTaP.

You can even tell if there is a mild reaction at the injection site if you ask which injection is given where. Even if you have two on the same leg, one might cause mild redness and swelling or a bit of irritation, and you can clearly see which injection it is from.
 

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I was referring to reactions that the original poster was concerned about i.e. family history,autism, neurological deficits. It didn't cross my mind that she was concerned about fever or arm swelling,so yes your points are valid in regards to the minor reactions, and about them not being contraindications. It sounded to me that her concerns were the more serious reactions,as i listed above,all of which are NOT easily attributed to one vaccine when her child gets 7in one day. It is impossible to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt which one of the seven would be the cause ofthe serious reaction. Especially for the combo shots where you only have one inection site to assess. A Dr can assume,but i hardly think that is enough for a mother who wants a definitive answer as to the cause. The only way to know is administering individual shots, spaced out. If there are no individual reactions, she may feel more comfortable administering multi shots or combos for the rest of the series. Its a conservitive/ play it safe approach for the beginning. Concidering she asked opinions,that's what i would do if i was in her position because to me,it offers peace of mind.
 

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I was referring to reactions that the original poster was concerned about i.e. family history,autism, neurological deficits. It didn't cross my mind that she was concerned about fever or arm swelling,so yes your points are valid in regards to the minor reactions, and about them not being contraindications. It sounded to me that her concerns were the more serious reactions,as i listed above,all of which are NOT easily attributed to one vaccine when her child gets 7in one day. It is impossible to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt which one of the seven would be the cause ofthe serious reaction. Especially for the combo shots where you only have one inection site to assess. A Dr can assume,but i hardly think that is enough for a mother who wants a definitive answer as to the cause. The only way to know is administering individual shots, spaced out. If there are no individual reactions, she may feel more comfortable administering multi shots or combos for the rest of the series. Its a conservitive/ play it safe approach for the beginning. Concidering she asked opinions,that's what i would do if i was in her position because to me,it offers peace of mind.
I see what you are saying, but I think it's important to point out what vaccines do not cause. Vaccines do not cause autism.

The suggested link between autism and vaccines and other neurological outcomes has been repeatedly studied and there is no link. None of the 7 vaccines that she is planning to get for her children will be the cause of autism if one of her children happens to be diagnosed at a later date. Autism develops early in the life of a fetus in the womb, though that doesn't mean that all of the traits will be evident early in life.
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism/

As for other rare, specific conditions, vaccines have been linked only to a few specific ailments. You can space out vaccines, but if something happens shortly after vaccination, for many things you can not be sure it was a vaccine even if you only had one vaccine that day. How could you rule out a mild, asymptomatic viral infection as a cause? You'd have to test for those viruses. Or mild food poisoning (some organisms, like Campylobacter, cause Guillain-Barre, for instance)? How would you know it was the vaccine you gave that day, and not the food you ate that morning?

Spacing out vaccination isn't a way to know "for sure."

I'm not arguing against spacing out vaccination if that's what makes a parent more comfortable, but just trying to point out that for rare conditions that are not linked to vaccination, spacing out is not going to be a way to get a definitive answer about the cause. In the absence of any other evidence-- spacing only rules out those vaccines that haven't been administered, which represent a fairly small proportion of potential triggers for most of these rare diseases with undetermined causes.

Yes, you can say "it wasn't vaccine x" if the kid didn't receive vaccine x, but you can't say "it was definitely vaccine y" just because vaccine y was administered shortly before some symptom began.

At the risk of sounding repetitive and vague, serious reactions are extremely rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was referring to reactions that the original poster was concerned about i.e. family history,autism, neurological deficits. It didn't cross my mind that she was concerned about fever or arm swelling,so yes your points are valid in regards to the minor reactions, and about them not being contraindications. It sounded to me that her concerns were the more serious reactions,as i listed above,all of which are NOT easily attributed to one vaccine when her child gets 7in one day. It is impossible to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt which one of the seven would be the cause ofthe serious reaction. Especially for the combo shots where you only have one inection site to assess. A Dr can assume,but i hardly think that is enough for a mother who wants a definitive answer as to the cause. The only way to know is administering individual shots, spaced out. If there are no individual reactions, she may feel more comfortable administering multi shots or combos for the rest of the series. Its a conservitive/ play it safe approach for the beginning. Concidering she asked opinions,that's what i would do if i was in her position because to me,it offers peace of mind.
I see what you are saying, but I think it's important to point out what vaccines do not cause. Vaccines do not cause autism.

The suggested link between autism and vaccines and other neurological outcomes has been repeatedly studied and there is no link. None of the 7 vaccines that she is planning to get for her children will be the cause of autism if one of her children happens to be diagnosed at a later date. Autism develops early in the life of a fetus in the womb, though that doesn't mean that all of the traits will be evident early in life.
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism/

As for other rare, specific conditions, vaccines have been linked only to a few specific ailments. You can space out vaccines, but if something happens shortly after vaccination, for many things you can not be sure it was a vaccine even if you only had one vaccine that day. How could you rule out a mild, asymptomatic viral infection as a cause? You'd have to test for those viruses. Or mild food poisoning (some organisms, like Campylobacter, cause Guillain-Barre, for instance)? How would you know it was the vaccine you gave that day, and not the food you ate that morning?

Spacing out vaccination isn't a way to know "for sure."

I'm not arguing against spacing out vaccination if that's what makes a parent more comfortable, but just trying to point out that for rare conditions that are not linked to vaccination, spacing out is not going to be a way to get a definitive answer about the cause. In the absence of any other evidence-- spacing only rules out those vaccines that haven't been administered, which represent a fairly small proportion of potential triggers for most of these rare diseases with undetermined causes.

Yes, you can say "it wasn't vaccine x" if the kid didn't receive vaccine x, but you can't say "it was definitely vaccine y" just because vaccine y was administered shortly before some symptom began.

At the risk of sounding repetitive and vague, serious reactions are extremely rare.

I know that vaccines don't *cause* autism, but given the genetic history in my family and the fact that both me and my kiddos have mthfr, I do know there is a link between mthfr and autism (a suggested link, nothing proven). That being said, what I've learned about genetics is that genes express and that there can be triggers to cause epigenetics. So while I don't think it is fair to say vaccines cause autism (it has been proven they don't), I don't think it's unreasonable to say that vaccines have the potential to cause epigentics. Could epigenetics trigger autism? Perhaps. Maybe not. I agree that there are so many things that can cause more serious issues that it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what caused it. For years I saw a chiro and naturopath that told me it was vaccines that caused my neurological condition. My naturopath told me I was vax injured. Come to find out, I have a genetic condition that predisposes me to the neurological condition... It was a matter of time before something caused it. Maybe it was a vaccine that triggered my neuro issues. Maybe not. I think genetics are so unique and interesting and they literally vary from person to person. So it is hard to say if a vax without-a-doubt causes a reaction.., but in my family there have been immunologists at top hospitals that advised not to vax after concluding the vax did cause complications. :( so that is scary to me
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think you really should take these concerns to your family Doctor and work together to find a schedule you are comfortable with. I think there's reasonable reasons to spread out the shots if you are OK with lots of visits. I also think there's no reason to be concerned about too many at once. I recall my son getting two shots at once (one in each leg) by a team of nursers - they did that to reduce his stress levels. He never had a serious reaction of any kind.
We wound up speaking to the nurse manager and she agrees that we should space out and do no more than 2 at a time (with the exception of combos like DTaP and MMR which cannot be separated).
 

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Lots of questions so I am going to pick a few and try to answer to my best ability.

1) Where are you? "Jabs" isn't a common term in the US so I'm suspecting you might be from the UK or Australia? If so, my knowledge of the US schedule (and available vax) might not be much help to you.

7 injections in one visit is hard. It's just hard as a parent, and it will be hard for the person administering them. It's not unsafe but I understand why it makes you hesitate. My son never had more than 4 in a visit (2 in each leg), when I started catching him up at 2.5 years. He never had any serious reactions, but he did have a high fever once that made me take him to the ER. The fever was the only symptom and it quickly went away. He only needed one Hib and PCV. Or maybe two Hib. I don't remember without checking his records.

If you do decide to spread out vaccines, your kids will be more vulnerable for a longer period of time. That is a risk, but it's probably a small risk, depending on where you are. If you are committed to catching them up and decide to space it out, then it will be a lot of work on you and on your pediatrician for a few months (it will be a lot of work anyway, whether you space it out or not, so you have to consider what works best for you). I recommend being very diligent to keep up with your appointments, because it can be easy to let a lot of time lapse in between.

There are some exceptions but a wait of only about 4 weeks is required between the initial doses in some vaccine series. For the final dose of DTaP, Polio, Hep B and HAV you have to wait longer, like 6 mos.

The CDC has a catch up scheduler for parents for the US schedule. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html

2) I do recommend finding a practice that is familiar with giving vaccines. Pediatric practices usually are. Switch if you need to but don't wait too long. You don't want to switch mid-way through getting them caught up, for a number of reasons, and one being your stress levels.

I'm in the US :) I often hear people say "jabs"... Maybe it's a regional thing! But we talked to the nurse manager who has put our minds at ease. I am struggling because I know the importance of vaccinating and the stress of them being unvaxed is starting to get to me but I also don't want to do something that could cause harm (the nurse manager spoke with our doc who agrees that between mine and my daughter's medical history/genetics that it makes more sense to space out). I just pray they tolerate them. Once I know they are doing okay I will feel more comfortable with the whole process of getting caught up
 

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I'm in the US :) I often hear people say "jabs"... Maybe it's a regional thing! But we talked to the nurse manager who has put our minds at ease. I am struggling because I know the importance of vaccinating and the stress of them being unvaxed is starting to get to me but I also don't want to do something that could cause harm (the nurse manager spoke with our doc who agrees that between mine and my daughter's medical history/genetics that it makes more sense to space out). I just pray they tolerate them. Once I know they are doing okay I will feel more comfortable with the whole process of getting caught up
I'm so glad to hear you found someone who will be patient and work with you to get them caught up. You're making a great choice to get them caught up. I hope it all goes well. Keep us updated :)
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I'm so glad to hear you found someone who will be patient and work with you to get them caught up. You're making a great choice to get them caught up. I hope it all goes well. Keep us updated :)

Thanks! :smile: I will definitely let you all know how it goes
 

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My kids have been vaccinated on schedule (other than opting out of Hep B at birth). At my oldest's 4th birthday well child visit she was given five injections (one for flu since she has an October bday) to get her ready for school. This ended up being traumatic for me, her, and the two nurses it took to hold her down. If I had realized how many were on the schedule for that day, I would have spaced them out over two appointments. My ex is a pediatrician and he's said that the main reason this isn't presented as an option to parents is because they don't trust parents to come back for multiple appointments.

We've used both family practice docs and pediatricians, depending on the availability where we were living and our knowledge of the individual doctors. Family practice docs can be great if they see a lot of kids, and it was nice to have the same doctor deliver my youngest and then be 'her' doctor. If you have a child prone to illnesses or specific concerns that might be out of the scope of general family practice, a pediatrician might give you more peace of mind. Honestly, the quality of nurses in a practice matter the most to me. A nurse not knowing how to take blood pressure is something of a red flag, but seems to be increasingly common.
 

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I realize this is two months old, but I had the same situation, only my kids were ages 3-9 when I decided to catch them up. We talked to the doctor and she laid out which were most important down to least important (based on her assessment of chance of catching them and severity of the illness if they did get it.) Then we went in every month and they got two shots each at a time. The nurse was awesome in keeping track of it for me, and shot-only visits were easy to schedule since we didn't need to see the doctor. As they get older, some of the shots they didn't even need, and some needed fewer shots, so each kid ended up on a different schedule. It took about 12 months to finish, and the only kid who got upset was the 3 year old on about the third visit, as he understood enough to anticipate the shot but wasn't old enough to put it in perspective. (Also he had to leave the office's toy train behind and that was the final straw!)

My friend caught her daughter up at age 3, and though she started doing two shots at a time like me, she said it got really stressful to get to the doctor so much (she lives in the city, I in the suburbs), so at the end, she was doing 4-5 shots at a time, and her daughter was fine that way as the stress was concentrated and over more quickly.

As an aside, to anyone who might ever talk to a doctor about this, or proselytize the pro-vaccine position: it was in large part the fact that the practice I use never kicked me out for not vaccinating, nor did they make me sign a waiver, nor did they shame me, nor talk down to me. They just offered to talk about it at yearly visits, and when I did decide to catch the kids up, they planned a schedule that went slowly and made sense.
 
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