The latest in vaccination news is that we cannot win. No matter what we do, there is risk. There is no "safe" or "better" option. Whatever you choose could be wrong. Dangerous. Harmful. Fear. Fear. Fear. Parenting. Fear. We all know this, but we don't want to truly believe it. We want to think we are making good decisions for our kids. But we can never really know. This is just the reality we live in with everything involving our kids ... especially vaccines.
Some of us choose to delay vaccinations for whatever reason. Perhaps the child has a cold, or was premature and the parents are going by adjusted age, or there is a belief in a different schedule of what shots are recommended. Some vaccines actually cause seizures in children. But what we're learning now is that parents who delay vax could be putting their kids at risk for seizures as well.
Of course the conspiracy theorists are going to say that this is the CDC saying this so parents who delay won't delay anymore. I love a good conspiracy and love when people question everything. We have to. It's too important not to. But the details are that researchers from Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center have found that kids who get their measles vax on time have a lower risk of side effects than those who delay. The first dose is recommended at 12 to 15 months. And those kids who got that shot during that time experienced less fever and seizures after getting it than the kids who were 16 to 23 months old. There already is a risk of seizure one to two weeks after getting the measles vax, but it's greater if getting it later than recommended. Why ... they don't know.
The researchers feel that the findings "highlight the importance of timely immunization of children." Dr. Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says this new study "just provides another reason why delaying vaccines would be an unreasonable thing to do, and potentially a more harmful thing to do." He adds that delaying as to not overwhelm the child's system with too many vaccines is an unproven concern.
I'm one of those moms who is fearful of vaccines. I'm also fearful of the diseases the vaccines prevent. I've delayed my kids from getting certain vaccines. But I vaccinate. I'm also not afraid of kids who are not vaccinated, but we're also not going to attend any lollipop parties. This new information makes me thankful we made it out of the first two years of vaccinations without incident. But it still worries me. It makes me even more worried about the entire vaccine situation.
What do you think of this study? Do you delay, vax on schedule, or skip vaccinations? Does this study change your mind on anything?
Image via NHS Employers/Flickr