This website is written to assist parents in making sense of the millions of ‘informational’ pages advising about the epidemic of ASD and ADHD. At The Child Development Center, childhood vaccinations only play a small part in the chief concern for the vast majority of our parents, and in the rest of the world it seems to present a major issue, so I write about this subject occasionally. However, just after my previous post on this topic, a research paper was published that begs my further attention. It appeared in the respected medical journal, Pediatrics, and is entitled Sick-Visit Immunizations and Delayed Well-Baby Visits.
The point of the article is that, when parents fail to follow the recommended immunization schedule because of a child’s illness, they are less likely to complete the full series (and so, be more vulnerable to preventable diseases). The implication is that, perhaps the ‘shots’ should be given anyway. “The substantial risk that infants will not return for a timely makeup well-baby visit after a sick visit should be included in any consideration of whether to delay immunizations.”
Nowhere in the discussion and conclusions that followed were the issues of fever, febrile seizures, or any developmental followup covered. The is no mention of how high a fever might be tolerable, whether the child was exhibiting other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, the presence of fevers with previous vaccines, or what to do if there were any complications. Even in the full text, there is no advice to signify to parents that ‘vaccination anyway’ is not a recommended course. That isn’t necessary, I guess, since the lack of association between these toxins and autism is already a given for this vaccine Program Director (not a physician), who recommends AGAINST the AAP. Where are the ‘Champions of the Pediatric Way’ standing up to proclaim, “Wait, there is no research about safety and outcome to support your position!”
Such lopsided opinions by professionals are insensitive at best and ignorant at worst, and only serve to enhance the polarization of pro-vs.-con vaccination discussions. Here is some helpful advice to a family / physician who is trying to make sense of the immunization quagmire:
- ‘We could get ‘titers’ (levels of antibodies to diseases that the person already possesses) to see which shots are necessary.”
- “We could get a blood count and some blood studies to make you feel more comfortable about your decisions.”
- “We could take a more detailed history, including sleep, bowel function, eating problems incl GERD, frequent formula changes, other information that the modern mom knows and consider risk in this individual child vs. chance of significant exposure/disease in this child and try to let the present improvement play itself out.”
- “We could be part of a medical team that considers other experts, including the parents, in the decision about individuals.”
- “We could try to give as few at one time as possible (and, btw, MMR=3, not 1).”
- “Let’s talk about your particular child and your concerns and see which vaccinations are most important at this time and try to give the rest in as timely manner as possible.”
Here is my proposal regarding this piece of research:
Let’s do a randomized, controlled, prospective study of babies who get get treated with vaccinations while they are sick (no matter how sick), versus children who wait until they are well, and see if there are any side effects, such as high fever, seizures, other allergic disorders, or ASD.
Who wants to be in the ‘vaccine anyway’ group?