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Alternative Vaccine Schedule

There are so many parents who are on the front lines advocating for child vaccination; until they get their own kid. You will find a parent who thinks that their child is too delicate and cannot take all the jabs, which leads to a request for spreading out, skipping the vaccines or delaying them. 

While this may seem like a logical request, many parents fail to realize that the recommended schedule has been tested over time and is deemed the safest. However, there are doctors who are creating alternative vaccine schedules to help these parents ease their concerns. But are these alternative schedules as safe?

What Is An Alternative Vaccination Schedule?

AVS is also referred to as alternative childhood immunization schedule. It is a vaccination schedule that differs from that endorsed by ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices). These alternative schedules are not as rigorously tested for efficacy as its approved counterpart, and therefore may not be as safe, according to a group of experts.

The alternative childhood vaccination schedule proponents aim at reducing what many believe to be the risk of immune system overload caused by vaccine components containing chemicals such as aluminum hydroxide and formaldehyde. Though there is no scientific evidence of immune system overload, the AVS is still popular. However, it is risky as it exposes the child to a range of preventable diseases.

The difference in immunization schedules

Apart from the approved schedule, there are several AVS that people use today. The most commonly used alternative schedule is the Dr Sear’s version. We’ll take a quick look at the differences in the vaccine administration.

Vaccine

Approved VS

Alternative VS

Birth

HepB (1st dose)

 

1 or 2 Months

HepB (2nd dose)

 

2 Months

Hib

DTaP

IPV

PCV

RV

DTaP

RV

 

3 Months

-           

PCV

Hib

4 Months

Hib

DTaP

IPV

PCV

RV

DTaP

5 Months

-           

PCV

Hib

6 Months

DTaP

Hib

PCV

RV

RV

DTaP

7 Months

 

PCV

Hib

9 Months

 

Flu  - 2 doses

Polio

12 Months

 

Polio

Mumps

15 Months

 

PCV

Hib

18 Months

 

Chickenpox

DTaP

21 Months

 

Flu

2 Years

 

Polio

Rubella

2 Years 6 Months

 

HepB

HepA

3 years

 

Hep B

Flu

Measles

3 Yrs 6 Months

 

HepA

HepB

From 6 mnths and annually

Flu

 

6 to 18 Months

HepB

IPV

 

12 to 15 Months

Hib

PCV

MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)

Chicken pox

 

12-23 Months

HepA

 

15 to 18 Months

DTaP

 

4 to 6 years

DTaP

IPV

MMR

Varicella

DTaP

Polio

Flue

MMR

Chicken Pox

11-12 Years

HPV

Tdap

DTaP

HPV

13 years

 

HPV

MenB

16-18 years

MenB

 

KEY

• HepA – Hepatitis A

• HepB – Hepatitis B

• DTaP – Diptheria, Tetanus, Acellular pertissis

• IPV – inactivated poliovirus vaccine

• Hib – Haemophilus influenza type B

• RV - Rotvirus

• PCV – pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

• MMR – Measles, Mumps Rubella

• Tdap – Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis booster

• MenB – Meningococcal B vaccine

• MCV4 – meningococcal conjugate vaccine

Special Vaccine Circumstances

There are various circumstances that may call for a change in the vaccination schedule. These vaccines may come in highly recommended (not compulsory) since they help prevent certain diseases. These vaccines may not be limited to children. They include;

- Hepatitis A Vaccine

This vaccine can be given to kids 2 years or older, including adults, who are at high risk of this disease. Those who need these vaccines include those who travel to, live in or are near people from areas with reported high rates of the disease. It is also necessary for people with chronic liver disease and clotting disorders.

- Flu Vaccine

Influenza vaccine is recommended for high risk groups regardless of age. It is especially important for children, especially those with chronic conditions such as heart problems, asthma, diabetes, sickle cell and HIV. Pregnant women and kids should however keep off the nasal spray.

- MCV Meningococcal Vaccine

This is given to kids from 2 months who are at high risk of contracting meningococcal infections such as meningitis. Kids with immunity disorders or those travelling to areas with meningitis prevalence or outbreak should get this jab.

Other Alternative Vaccination Schedules

Regular vaccinations start at birth. However, some vaccination schedules start at 2 or 4 months while others start at 2 years. The vaccinations are spaced out so that kids do not have to take several of them at once. Most alternative vaccinations schedule come with probiotics, which are necessary to fortify the child’s immunity while building a healthy gut. 

Cautions To Keep In Mind

While the internet is a rich resource for information, it can also be a scary place, especially if you are not conversant with a topic. Most of the parents who are looking for alternative vaccination schedules have been inspired by the scaremongering on the internet. Before you decide that your child doesn’t need a certain vaccine, be sure to talk to your pediatrician. Skipping vaccines exposes your child to infections, some of which are fatal.

 

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