I’ve been “writing” Peanut’s vaccine schedule in my head for a long time now and I finally got it down on paper. I’ve talked before about how we want to do a modified schedule and I’ve read The Vaccine Book over and over. Finally it is done. I feel like a huge weight has been taken off of me.
So, obviously we’ve made some of our decisions already since Peanut is 7.5 months old. We’ve mostly decided to spread the vaccines out rather than entirely forgoing them. It feels like the vaccines that are for the scariest and most common diseases are the ones that have the scariest ingredients/reactions.
Here’s a copy of the 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics Recommended Immunization Schedule
2 Weeks: Hepatitis B
We purposefully didn’t get the Hepatitis B shot in the hospital and the only reason we got it at 2 weeks was there was some confusion at the pediatrician’s office. I felt confused and bombarded. I went to the library and checked out The Vaccine Book right after the appointment. Next time around, we wont be getting this one so soon.
2 Months: Rotavirus, DTaP, and HIB
We talked with our pediatrician and he said that we can’t request specific vaccines, so I asked the names of the ones they carry. We worked with those vaccines to create a list that: 1. Didn’t have too many vaccines at once so that her body could deal with only a few at a time. They expected me to give Peanut 6 vaccines at once and that just feels wrong. 2. We wanted to do the “most important” vaccines first. The ones that would be the most devastating if she got the disease before getting vaccine immunity. 3. We wanted to limit the amount of aluminum she got at one time. This round has 330 micrograms of aluminum.
3 Months: PCV, Polio, Hep B
I felt kind of guilty making Peanut go through pain twice as often as recommended, but I quickly decided that I’d rather have her be in a little more pain than possibly have bad reactions or long term side effects. To reduce the amount of pain she has to go through, I nurse her while she’s getting the shots. At first, the nurses were quite baffled, but now they don’t even notice. I would recommend you wait until your milk lets down until they start getting poked–though not too long after let down. You want it to still be on that big rush of milk so that they’ll notice that milk is coming out and start sucking and calm down. This round has 375 micrograms of aluminum.
4 Months: Rotavirus, DTaP, HIB
5 Months: PCV, Polio
It was too early to do Hep B. If I could change things, she wouldn’t be getting Hep B at 2 weeks and she would be getting it at 5 months.
6 Months: Rotavirus, DTaP, HIB
7 Months: PCV, Hep B
We could do Polio here, but since we don’t have anything to do at 9 months and she will be going in for a well check, I figured we might as well space them out.
9 Months: Polio
12 Months: MMR
I’m feeling the most conflicted about this one. No, it’s not about autism–it’s the fact that they’re live viruses. When The Vaccine Book was written, you could get M, M, and R as three separate vaccines. Since then, they’ve decided to stop making the separate ones for some reason. Though after the recent outbreak of measles, I’m afraid of not getting the vaccine. So, for right now, I’ve planned MMR at 12 months. I may or may not change my mind and I’m really hoping that they just start making them separate again. If we do get the MMR at 12 months, we plan on making sure Peanut is really, really healthy. If she’s had any illnesses for a few weeks before, we’re going to delay. Also, we’re going to give Peanut vitamin A and D before and after the shot.
15 Months: PCV, HIB
Only 125 micrograms of aluminum in this round.
18 Months: DTaP
4 Years: Dtap
They recommend Polio, MMR, DTaP, and Chickenpox (we’ll get to that one in a minute) at 5 years. Since you can give them any time between 4 and 6 years, we’re spreading them out.
5 Years: MMR
6 Years: Polio
11 Years: Test for Chickenpox and Hepatitis A
Both of these diseases aren’t serious to children, but can be pretty bad for teens and adults. You can get a test to see if you’ve been exposed to them enough to get immunity, so that’s our plan. If she doesn’t have immunity, we’ll give her the vaccines.
12 Years: HPV (3 doses), Meningococcal
There is some controversy with the HPV vaccine, but as a cervical cancer survivor, I would like my daughter to get the vaccine. Meningitis is scary enough that I feel the Meningococcal vaccine is required.
14 Years: Tdap (and every 10 years after)
It’s important to get a tentenus shot every 10 years, but if you’re already doing that you might as well get immunization to pertussis (whooping cough). Pertussis isn’t serious to adults, but adults who get it expose babies to it and that can be very serious.
We still haven’t made a decision regarding the Flu or H1N1 vaccines. Keep an eye out for a post about that decision soon. If we do decide to get them, we won’t be doing them at the same time as the other vaccines. Spacing is good.
I’d like to stress here that every parent makes the choice that is right for their family and my choice is not necessarily the right one for you. I would also like to stress the point that being educated is part of making that decision. Good luck with your vaccination journey.