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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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Is There an Alternative Vaccine Schedule?

What Does Your Doctor Say? continued...

The AAP says there’s no sure way to adjust the schedule and know that your child will be safe from potentially life-threatening infections, since all kids are at risk. And it might actually mean more shots in the long run.

Dye’s son, who’s now 3, had no problems with the vaccine schedule his parents came up with. Dye says her doctor went along with it because her son would eventually get all his shots. But Dye admits that it was a “pain” to schedule all the extra doctor visits to get his shots, bit by bit.

In hindsight, she says that she had had an “emotional reaction” based on “crazy conspiracy theory articles.” She says she decided to look into it further and learned that the alleged link between autism and vaccines “had been disproven.”

The only real science-based evidence she could find supported vaccines’ safety and effectiveness. So her daughter, now 7 months old, is getting all her shots on time.

"I absolutely feel reassured about my kids, that I am preventing them from getting diseases that there's no need for there to be," Dye says.

Other parents still aren’t so sure.

If you wonder if your child really needs all those shots -- even if you know that the science overwhelmingly supports vaccine safety -- talk it over with your doctor. Chances are, you both want to do the right thing.

You may be surprised to find that there is some built-in flexibility in the regular schedule without going outside the recommendations.

For instance, babies can get the third dose of hepatitis B vaccine any time between 6 and 18 months of age. And they can get the rotavirus vaccine in two or three doses, depending on the specific vaccine product used. These are all things you can ask your doctor about.

"Parents are entitled to have information and to voice their concerns," Shust says. "Absolutely, we want to hear them."

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Reviewed on August 25, 2015

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